Most salespeople don’t necessarily enjoy prospecting but understand that it goes with the territory if they want to have a continual reserve of people to call on with sales presentations. Prospecting requires persistence to get through gatekeepers and hearing no a lot more often than hearing yes.
It also requires the willingness to try a variety of different methods of prospecting for reaching decision-makers and capturing their attention. With the start of a new sales calendar just around the corner, now is a great time to consider how to improve sales prospecting in 2019.
Attitude is Everything in Prospecting
The whole point of prospecting is locating buyers who are a right fit for the products or services that a company has to offer. This requires an efficient prospecting routine that not only locates new customers but replaces departing ones. Additionally, salespeople need to consider selling new products to existing customers as a form of prospecting.
Having a full pipeline of prospects ensures that there is always someone to contact to schedule a sales presentation. In fact, the prevailing advice is for salespeople to create more potential contacts than they will ever have time to see.
Attitude can make or break every effort at prospecting. If the salesperson honestly believes that he or she is helping people by selling them something, the effort is much more likely to be successful. Prospective customers can tell when they are just a number for the salesperson to meet. That is because he or she will lack passion, determination, and a positive attitude that the customer can’t help but to admire.
Consider Multiple Ways of Prospecting
No single way of prospecting is going to uncover the full pipeline that salespeople need to surpass their quotas. Success requires the willingness to engage in multiple types of prospecting whether the sales representative enjoys the method or not. Cold calling is a prime example. Although it is still one of the most effective ways of prospecting, some salespeople assume it’s outdated and abandon it in favor of more modern methods.
However, cold calling does require strategy for it to be efficient. The sales professional needs to target only businesses that could benefit from the employer’s product or service. After making the call, the sales rep should learn about the potential prospect’s pain points and explain how he or she can resolve them. It may not lead to an immediate yes but tracking the conversation and committing to follow-up is the best way to get there. Some other possibilities include:
- Social selling: With nearly 2.5 billion social media users worldwide, no business can afford not to have a strong presence to connect with potential leads.
- Email: This can be effective if it doesn’t end up in the spam folder or immediately deleted. The key is to create an intriguing subject line and for the salesperson to inform the prospect of how he or she has helped similar clients within the first three lines.
- Event prospecting: There’s something to be said for in-person prospecting. Salespeople wishing to find new prospects should plan to attend trade shows and expos regularly.
A new year is a fresh slate for meeting new sales goals. Strong prospecting skills provides the tools to reach them.