No matter how successful you are in business you could still use more high-quality sales prospects, right? I don’t come across many businesses that don’t answer that question with a resounding yes.
Everyone knows the usual tips for adding more prospects like make more cold calls, attend more networking events, or ask for more referrals from existing customers. All are certainly good advice but not exactly revelations.
Here are 3 tips that you don’t always hear that you might find helpful.
1) Get to Decision Makers: Picking up the phone and dialing people you don’t actually know will always be an integral part of selling but technology has enabled digital prospecting on the front end of the process to make sure we are only calling people decision-makers or those who are pre-qualified.
2) Content Is King: A recent study on what influences B2B decision-makers to choose to work with a firm revealed a surprising insight. A white paper ranked higher than sales calls on the influence ranking. That’s right, white papers were ranked ahead of the traditional sales call as the more powerful influence on a B2B purchasing decision. If your firm does not have a content strategy or a bank of relevant white papers that educate your prospects in areas of interest related to your field, it is time to get busy writing! A white paper is NOT a sell sheet and using digital mediums to distribute educational, non-self-serving white papers to the right prospects at the right time is one of the most powerful tools in a successful modern prospecting plan.
3) Change Your Approach When Engaging and Connecting: The traditional approach to networking is to attend meetings, either as one-off events or regular networking groups, in an attempt to gain prospects from among the attendees or people they may refer you to. Not a bad plan but most of the time this approach doesn’t yield optimal results for varying reasons. It is harder these days to get 1 on 1 meetings. Are you using LinkedIn effectively? By connecting to individuals you network with on LinkedIn you are able to search their connections for specific people you would like them to introduce you to. In asking for specific referrals you not only have a much higher likelihood of success but in the process, you are quickly educating them on exactly what a good referral looks like. We train our clients on how to use very specific “introduction templates” that make it very easy for the referring party to “cut and paste” into introductory emails that place you in total control of not only how you are positioned but also the mechanics of how fast the introduction proceeds.
So, there you have it, some valuable tips on getting more prospects through leveraging social platforms and digital prospecting best practices. Prospecting is certainly applicable to the old saying about the definition of insanity is doing the same over and over while expecting different results. The target has moved, and we need to move with it.