Prospecting today is more difficult than ever. Getting through and setting appointments with buyers is no easy task. Buyers are crazy busy, they’ve been burned in the past and are skeptical, and it’s a struggle to connect with the right people.

It takes persistence, perseverance, the right mindset, and a long-term focus to get it right.

If you’re ready to dive and make the prospecting magic happen, here are four tips for breaking through, setting appointments, and improving your prospecting success:

1. Provide value: Sellers need a compelling reason for the buyer to say “yes” to a meeting. You have to provide value above and beyond the product or service you’re selling. Buyers who perceive sellers reaching out to them because they’ll find the conversation valuable, grant sellers appointments.

In fact, 63 percent of buyers say if the provider offers to share something of value, it influences whether they connect with a seller.

2. Build an attraction campaign: It usually takes a number of calls, emails, LinkedIn messages, and other outreach to get through. According to 489 sellers who outbound prospect, the most effective prospecting tactics include:

a. Making phone calls to existing customers, past customers, or new contacts.

b. Speaking at conferences and events.

c. Sending 1-to-1 emails to prospects manually after doing research and customizing the message.

The sellers who have a well thought out campaign have more success breaking through and setting appointments. Sixty-three percent of sellers say it takes five or more touches to connect with a new prospect for the first time.

If you’re giving up at four touches or less, you’re missing out on your success.

3. Customize your message: Buyers want to know that you’ve done your research. Look buyers up on the web and LinkedIn before you reach out. Customize your message based on what you learn. Sixty-seven percent of buyers are influenced to accept a meeting or otherwise connect when the provider shares content 100 percent customized to their specific situation. In addition, 69 percent of buyers are influenced to accept a meeting or otherwise connect when the provider shares primary research data that’s relevant to them.

Find out what’s relevant by doing your research and tailoring your message directly to that one person.

4. Manage your social brand: Eighty-two percent of buyers look at your LinkedIn profile when considering whether or not to respond to you. Do you give a good first impression when someone visits your profile? Is there a professional photo and credibility booster such as awards, recommendations, and endorsements? Are you highlighting new content your company has authored? Don’t neglect your online brand, especially when you’re reaching out to buyers who don’t already know you.

Sixty-six percent of buyers who frequently accept meetings found shared connections to be an important factor that influences whether they’d respond. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more likely you are to have a shared connection.

Focus on building relationships with the right buyers, create a value-based offer that you tailor to each individual and their business, reach out often, and be sure that when a buyer looks you up, they get a good first impression. Do this and you’ll have much better prospecting (and sales) results.

Data from this post is from the Top Performance in Sales Prospecting Research.