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1. Follow a Consistent Schedule
The first step in successful prospecting is to recognize its role in the sales process and treat it accordingly. To achieve better results, you must first begin by allotting time and energy for prospecting on each and every day.
If your mindset is that you can only be effective at closing on the specific day of the week, or your prospects are only open to taking your calls on Mondays and Fridays, then we suggest that you change that kind of thinking immediately because those generalizations are either just your excuse or not true at all.
To prospect more consistently, create a weekly plan making time to prospect every day. It is ideal to set aside the time first thing in the morning to ensure that it gets done before your other duties piled up.
2. Focus, Focus, and Focus
It is a fact that gaining one customer cost more than retaining existing ones. With a significant amount of effort and resources needed to close a deal, it is only necessary that you focus on what’s important first to ensure that there is no single opportunity that goes to waste.
Following your weekly plan, ensure that no other activities will interfere you during prospecting – no Internet surfing, no chatting with your Facebook friends, no fidgeting with your smartphone. By exerting your whole effort on prospecting during your allotted time of the day, you will be creating a habit that will certainly come to fruition in no time.
3. Implement Different Techniques
There can be many ways to build new relationships and identify new potential activities. Depending on your skills, you can implement different techniques in prospecting to increase your chance of getting more leads.
If you are great at cold calling, then it's best if you focus on that technique first. However, you should not forget to use other ways of prospecting such as:
- Referral Generation
- Email Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Trade Shows and Conferences
- Direct Mail
Create a list of all the methods you can and will use in prospecting and plan the time that you will set aside for each method to ensure that all of them are fully maximized. Don’t forget to measure the results that you get in each method to know which method generates the greatest return on your investment in time.
But remember, each prospect has their own preference of how they like to be approached, so you shouldn’t ignore any method in your list.
4. Create Prospecting Scripts
Aside from inconsistency, another factor that causes poor prospecting results is ineffective prospecting. And most of the time it comes down to what you are saying when you prospect.
To make the prospecting process more convenient and effective, use a script. Many salespeople fail to recognize the need for scripts, thus making the whole conversation lousy and confusing for the prospect.
The secret for an effective prospecting script is the choice of words and making an observation of which language works best. Creating scripts takes awareness, focus, and discipline, but it also allows you to experiment with language choices to see what is most effective.
Write scripts for each of the prospecting methods you use, as well as responses to the common objections you hear. And although you are following a script, make sure you are actively listening to your prospects and tailor your response based on their needs.
5. Be a Provider of Great Solutions
A strong business-customer relationship is founded on trust. Instead of selling, you need to acknowledge first the specific needs of your client and provide them with support even after you have closed the deal.
By being a provider of solutions instead of just being a salesperson, you increase your chance of getting referrals from satisfied customers. When you provide your clients with great service and experience before and after the sale, they will remember your help and will be willing to help you in return.
6. Practice Warm Calling
Cold calling has been part of the prospecting process for decades, and with changing the preference of the market, is rapidly losing its effectiveness these days. For a more productive prospecting, it can be incredibly useful if you warm up your prospect prior the initial contact.
This can be done by familiarizing the prospect with your name or your job role before you make a call or send an email. You can seek the help of a shared connection in setting up an appointment, comment on the post they shared on social media, or like their update on LinkedIn.
7. Establish Yourself as Thought Leader
Being a leader or subject matter expert in your industry can help you establish credibility and trust needed to reach out to new prospects more successfully. Ways to establish yourself as a thought leader are through blogging, writing guest articles on highly relevant and authoritative websites and publications, and speaking at trade shows and conferences. This may require significant time and effort, but it immensely helps you familiarize your leads with your name before the initial contact.
8. Know That Prospecting is Not Selling
Not many salespeople understand that the true objective of prospecting is not selling, but rather opening new interactions with leads who can then be qualified and entered into the sales funnel. Only after they entered the sales funnel can selling begin.
In today’s digital age where everyone is connected almost 24/7, prospecting is a crucial factor in a sales environment. With the changing dynamics of the market, you cannot simply start selling with people without building a foundation of trust first. A genuine and sincere relationship must be established first so once selling techniques come into the picture, they’ll be more effective.
In conclusion, salespeople do more than just selling, they also open new relationships. And creating new relationships largely depends on how effective the prospecting techniques are. Consider this tips and you will certainly improve your prospecting results in no time.