Sales prospecting is the art of identifying and then transforming potential customers into actual buyers. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or the director of a small business, your ability to convert prospective leads into loyal customers will determine whether your business succeeds or fails.
Few people intuitively know how to prospect. That’s why we’ve put together a list of four tips to help you learn the ropes.
Table of Contents
1. Utilize Technology
In 2023, there are more tools than ever that can help you prospect smarter not harder. Start by creating a company listing on Crunchbase. Crunchbase is an all-in-one prospecting tool that takes the guesswork out of finding clients that match your ICP (or ‘ideal customer profile’). You can search by geographical location, industry and even by website traffic. Prospecting sites like these are ideal for business-to-business marketing and can also help you find funding for your growing venture.
2. Know Your Target Market
The difference between a sales lead and an actual sales prospect is whether the person viewing your website or chatting with your sales rep meets your ICP. To determine that, you need to have a clear understanding of your target market. Achieve this by establishing what problem your product/service solves.
For example, if you’ve invented a new non-toxic bleach, your market is more likely to be a large cleaning company than a tiny knitting store. Conduct interviews and focus groups face-to-face or via social media platforms to determine pain points and identify new consumer groups to target. Clues can also be found by analyzing your current clients to find patterns in gender, age, income, and interests.
3. Personalize Your Prospecting
Once you’ve worked out where to focus your prospecting, you need to develop your approach tactics. Sloppy, impersonal emails are a great way to end up in someone’s spam folder. A little personalization can go a long way, with research showing that people are up to 26% more likely to open emails with a personalized subject line.
Another way to avoid the dreaded ‘cold call’ vibe is to make it clear that you’ve done your research. Start your email or conversation with a comment about the individual or their company and how you believe you can address a problem they’re having. For example:
“Hi John, I know the rising cost of paper must be hitting a huge office like yours hard right now. I’ve got a lower cost option I’d love to present to you.”
4. Use a Call-to-Action and Follow up
The example above starts a conversation with the sales prospect but it doesn’t close the deal. After this initial introduction, it’s vital that you end your communication with a call-to-action. For example, you could finish with:
“I understand your schedule must be packed. I’ll call you after 4pm to follow up. Let me know if you’d like to propose another time.”
This provides a timeline for the discussion. If John is on the fence about replying, a set deadline will either prompt him to make time for the discussion or cause him to postpone it. Where a customer presents disinterested or cannot pin down a meeting time, this is your signal to bow out and refocus your attention on more serious prospects.
If you do have a great initial chat with John but then communication goes quiet, follow up with a polite call or email. Generally speaking, you should wait one to two days to show that you respect their time and other commitments. Be persistent but not pushy. If email isn’t working, try a call and vice versa.
Perfecting your sales prospecting will take time and practice but following the 4 tips above will immediately give you a leg up on your competition. To learn more about sell your business in Queensland be sure to check out Nash Advisory.