Sales prospecting is tough. Cold calling can be a nightmare. Reaching the decision maker is like a digital manhunt filled with obstacles, setbacks and dead ends. Throughout the years, I’ve found a couple ways to make sales prospecting a little more enjoyable. The important thing is to stay positive and confident, no matter what.
Here are some things you can do to make prospecting easier…
Become an Expert
First, make sure you’re knowledgeable about your product, your industry and your competition. But perhaps more importantly, don’t forget to be knowledgeable about your buyer before reaching out. Once you have their attention, you won’t have it for long. You’ll need to immediately create relevance to earn the opportunity to continue the conversation. As Jill Rowley says, “It isn’t who you know, but what you know about who you know.”
Plan out your day each morning by prioritizing your to-do list. Research the companies you’re trying to reach and break them out into tiers – tier one, two, three, etc. Start with tier one, and then get to work!
Make sure to take notes so you can refer to them later. Determine what your next follow-up action is, and set a reminder.
Invest in New Technology
Staying organized is much easier when you use technology. Take note directly within your sales CRM or sales acceleration solution to keep things in order, or save time planning your daily activities with automated prioritization. Click here to learn more about the impact that automated activity lead prioritization has on sales performance.
Leverage Social Media
Use social media data to find contact information, learn more about your prospects, or ask for introductions through your social connections.
“Use social media to build up your reputation as an industry expert. Share interesting content with your network, or join a group discussion. Positioning yourself as a knowledge source instead of a salesperson will make prospects more inclined to start a conversation with you.”
Most sellers don’t follow-up enough. If you’re more persistent than your competition, you’ll get more at bats, and ultimately sell more. Utilize multiple contact methods such as email, phone call, voicemail, etc. for optimal results. Discover how the right amount of persistence can boost revenue in the Ultimate Contact Strategy.
For help with voicemails, check out our related blog post, Best Voicemail Strategies to Get More Callbacks.
“Sometimes I’ll reach out to people that work directly with the decision-maker. I’ll say something like, ‘I’ve tried talking to NAME about MY PRODUCT – is that the right person I should be talking to? If not, who is?’ It’s a good way to get my foot in the door.”
Find a Mentor
A good mentor is the key to a successful sales career. Find at least one person in your professional network you admire and can turn to for advice, then try to follow in their footsteps. Learning from their experience will make you a better salesperson.
Personalize Your Messages
Speak directly to a prospect’s pains based on their job title and industry. Try editing general content and templates for each person you reach out to, so they feel like you’re speaking directly to them. For more personalization tips, check out the blog post, Bring Back the Personalization in Sales.
“When I’m researching a company, I check the careers page to find out more about the types of job roles they have there. It gives me more insight into who I’m talking to, what they’re working on and how they spend their time.”
Take Short Breaks
Sales prospecting is a grind. You need to pace yourself, or you’re going to burn out. Take five to 10 minute breaks to stretch, get some fresh air, grab a bite to eat or go for a walk. If you’re tired, you won’t perform as well.
If you want to stand out to prospects, you have to use your personality. You’re not a robot, so don’t act like one when you get on the phone. Prospects are more interested in talking to a human than a sales pitch. Be yourself and try to make personal connections with your prospects.
Sales prospecting is both challenging and rewarding. Some days are more challenging than others, but that moment when you schedule a call or actually have a conversation with a prospect, you feel like you’re on top of the world! But even the best sales reps have good and bad days. The key to success is staying positive throughout.
When you have the right attitude, anything is possible!
About the Author: Rick Thompson is the Director of Sales Development at Velocify, responsible for growing revenues and profitability through sales, account management, and customer service teams. Rick has more than 15 years of experience in senior sales leadership roles at high-growth companies. Rick loves using his experience to help people find their passions and connect with work they believe in.