Let’s face it. Every second you spend sales prospecting that doesn’t result in a sale or the creation of a long-term Social Agent relationship is basically wasted time. So today, let’s talk about the four things you can do immediately to improve your sales prospecting success rate.

Never Talk To a Stranger

As a salesperson, you should never talk to a prospect that you know nothing about. Sure, if you meet someone at an offline event — trade show or conference — then you have to improvise.

But, if you’re following up on a lead that your marketing team has created, you have to prepare for the conversation. This is where Social Reconnaissance comes into play.

Social Recon leverages all of the freely available, unstructured data floating around the Interwebs about that sales prospect to produce a detailed, informative dossier full of conversation catalysts. These conversation catalysts serve as the jumping off points for real conversation — not the hey buy my stuff kind — but real, interesting and inquisitive conversations where you can make a true connection with that sales prospect and begin to develop a relationship built on common ground you both share.

Build a System to Support Your Sales Prospecting

Every heard of Dunbar’s Number? It was all the rage about 8 years ago. But just because it isn’t being referenced by every marketing blogger in the universe any longer doesn’t make it any less relevant to today’s sales teams.

In a nutshell, Dunbar’s Number says that human beings can only maintain strong relationships with no more than 150 people simultaneously.

Thus, you’re going to need a system designed to remind you that you haven’t touched a sales prospect in X number of days or weeks. Ideally, this system has the ability to schedule a year of touches against every sales prospect in your CRM.

By scheduling these touches or reminders, you ensure that you won’t forget to make sure you’re staying top of mind against every sales prospect in your pipeline.

Stop Selling and Start Helping

We live in an age of Self-Educating Buyers. They don’t want to be sold anything. Instead, they want and maybe even need to feel like they’ve made a buying decision. This is why they prefer to do their own presale research vs relying on you the salesperson for product information.

When a Self-Educating Buyer finally does reach out to you, it’s because they really do need your help. They’ve been unable to answer all of their questions or concerns via their own education efforts. They’ve come to a point in the buying process where they need you to help complete their education, to fill in the missing information and guide them towards making the right buying decision.

Create Case Stories Instead of Case Studies

Case Studies are a mainstay in so many sales processes. But God they’re usually boring as hell and buyers seldom truly gain any real value from them in terms of making a buying decision.

So instead of Case Studies, develop Case Stories. If you have a Self-Educating Buyer in the restaurant industry who is having difficulty growing their social media presence, tell them a story about another restaurant that you and/or your company helped overcome that same issue.

Storytelling is a powerful communication approach because it appeals to and calls on both sides of the brain — emotional and rational. Case Studies, because of their analytical format often only appeal to the rational side of the brain. That would be fine if research didn’t show that upwards of 95% of decisions are made in the subconscious mind, and the rational mind only finds out afterwards so that the person can act on the decision.

Need More Help Improving Your Sales Prospecting?

If you’re still looking for help with your prospecting, why not register for our FREE 14-Day Painless Prospecting course. You’ll receive an email a day for 14 days, each focusing on one key element of a successful sales prospecting program.