Prospecting is such an important part of the sales process; with the right prospecting techniques, great levels of success can be achieved. Prospecting involves finding and warming up leads that will be followed up on by a member of the sales team. This can mean a variety of things, from finding entirely new clients that prospectors believe would be receptive to a sales pitch, to following up on leads that have gone cold and ascertaining whether there is any future potential.
Prospecting is not about selling; it’s about finding clients that might be receptive to a sales call in the future. With this in mind, there are some nuanced and effective prospecting techniques that really do work and that every prospector should have in their toolbox.
Trust is an essential part of closing future sales and developing relationships between businesses and customers. If, from the outset, a customer feels a sense of trust, they are much more likely to be receptive to future sales calls down the line. Instilling trust is a reflection on more than just the prospector; it’s also a reflection on the company and the product. If a customer trusts you, then they’re also willing to trust in the sincerity and quality of the service you’re offering. Without trust, leads can easily become dead ends, making it imperative that trust is developed at an early stage.
You’re likely familiar with CRM, or customer relationship management. CRM is a database that stores a ton of useful information on current, and potential, clients. However, many prospectors don’t use CRM to its full potential. Different CRM programs allow you to do a whole range of things that are useful for prospecting, including seeing who is clicking on your website or links, or searching out people who have expressed interest in either your product or similar products on the market. Learning how to use CRM to your best advantage is one of the best prospecting techniques available.
Whereas cold calling takes a scattershot approach, warm calling is built upon a foundation of previous interest. This can mean networking at a conference or business event, responding to an inquiry, or acting upon a reference from another client or company. Warm calling is a way of ensuring that a greater number of the people who are being reached out to will be receptive to receiving the sales call. From a prospecting perspective, warm calling means warming up leads for sales reps by fostering the connections being made within a community, or making sure that people are promptly and efficiently followed up with in order to gauge interest.
Prospective clients can tell when you’re reading off of a standard script. When they do notice, they’re likely to check out of the conversation or find a way to close the conversation. No one likes impersonal outreach, and while jotting down notes and or having a structured conversation plan are great ideas, making attempts to personalize conversation is important too. Customers appreciate the effort of personalizing a message; it makes them feel that you’re more likely to be receptive to their needs and unique position, which in turn fosters the potential for selling opportunities in the future.
Social media has become one of the predominant ways in which people communicate with each other and connections are made; when you leave social media out of your prospecting techniques, you risk seriously missing out on great future prospects. If you’re serious about prospecting, you should be working to develop your social media presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Reach out to people, interact with their content, and create some of your own. It’s all part of laying the groundwork for future sales.
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