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Effective prospecting becomes more challenging each and every year as our potential clients are being marketed to from every new communication platform.

Remember the days when traveling salesmen went door to door? People actually looked forward to that knock that meant something new and exciting was hitting the market.

Fast forward 40 years and now our prospects deal with ringing phones, email notifications and social media pings. Honestly, if someone were to knock on your door today selling something, how quickly would you slam it?

How do we cut through the noise and traffic while prospecting in the current marketplace?

That’s the million dollar question!

We have researched some of the best ways to remain effective (and be noticed) in today’s busy world and it’s your lucky day since we believe “sharing is caring!”

1.Target Executives

Prospecting comes down to targeting the right people.

 

If you aren’t targeting decision makers, you are getting no closer to closing the sale. Okay, this is something you probably already know, but have you mastered your technique for actually finding and developing a relationship with executives?

Try these tips –

  • Persistence pays off- reaching those top level executives isn’t easy. That’s because when you are the important decision maker, you are busy. Persistence is the key.

Yes, 9 times out of 10 you may reach his/her secretary but remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil..Keep in mind that according to the National Sales Executive Association, 80% of sales take place between the fifth through twelfth contact and 20% of sales occur between the first through the fourth contact. Moral of the story? Persistence pays off.

  • Be relevant – executives are busy. First and foremost, how is what you are selling relevant to their business? Get that out in the open right away in order to get your foot in the door. You have about 10 seconds to gain interest, know what your selling point is and exactly how you will deliver it. Be sure you are effectively solving a problem for them.Use Current Tools for Increasing Productivity (linkedin etc)

Targeting becomes a whole lot easier now that keeping tabs on your prospects is as easy as developing a connection through social media. Linkedin is one of the most underutilized tools among sales teams.

With today’s social media channel explosion you can learn anything about anyone at any time.. Before you make your next prospecting call take the time to research the company, explore their current happenings and engage with them.

With social media at your fingertips, your prospecting productivity can easily skyrocket. In addition to Linked, look for your prospects on Twitter and Facebook.

2. Warm up Your Cold Calls

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This point follows suit with the previous one.

There is a lot of talk in the sales world that cold calling is dead – do not believe it for a second. The key is warming up your cold call. Basically this entails doing your research before ever picking up the phone. Of course social media can greatly help you learn valuable intel on the company you are calling but other outlets, like Google News for example can be very helpful.

Basically, if you don’t do your research, be prepared to be destroyed.

3. Video Sales Prospecting

This is particularly important when you are sales prospecting through email. Research has confirmed time and again that any type of content that engages more than one of your senses will deliver a message far more effective.

Next time you are crafting a prospecting email, be certain to utilize video in order to boost engagement. Prospects may not have 30 minutes for you to get in front of them, but if you provide a video in your email, you can often achieve the same level of success.

4. Establish Alliances with Non-Competing Competitors

This one may have you scratching your head but by collaborating with competitors (who aren’t directly competing with you) you can branch out your potential prospects.

If your business is largely limited to a local market, try creating events and promotions with those just outside of your normal customer based.

Also, keep this in mind. When was the last time your enemies sent you business? Never, right?

Keeping other similar businesses friendly with you greatly increases your chance of referrals. If you are offering slightly different products or services, teaming up can actually greatly increase your customer base. It may not work for your company, but it is certainly a prospecting technique to keep in your toolbox.

5. Focus on Social Platforms That Fit Your Business and Demographic

It’s easy to get caught up in the many different social media channels but the most important thing to remember is that you are wasting your time if it is not a channel where your prospects are currently interacting.

6. Weed Out Poor Leads

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No one likes to say goodbye to a prospect that once showed interest but part of successful prospecting is knowing when to give up and say goodbye.

If any of the following situations are taking place, it’s time to let the lead go and move on to better prospects –

*the person you are talking to isn’t in the position to make decisions

*there is no room in the budget

*you aren’t solving a problem they currently have

7. Coach Rather Than Sell

Today’s sales and marketing community revolves largely around providing knowledge, not just trying to make a sale. This is a great chance to partner up with your marketing team. Try writing a blog post that will educate your prospects.

Additionally, you can establish relevance when you call a lead that you can problem solve with. Once you see the opportunity to improve their situation, you look more like a hero and less like a salesperson.

Motivate yourself to coach and problem solve for prospects and you will not only gain their business, but you will also gain referrals in the process.

8. Observe Your Competition

You can learn a ton about the shortcomings of you own prospecting and lead generation process by taking a look at your competition.

How are they handling their social accounts? What information are they providing their clients with. In order to remain relative and competitive in your market, you need to look to your competition and trump their initiatives.

9. Personalize All Conversations

This goes along with warming up your cold calling. In today’s marketplace, you can learn so much by simply doing a quick search of your prospects. Use this information to personalize each and every conversation you have with your prospects.

If it sounds like spam, it’s going to be treated like spam. Add relevance and personalization and then you will be able to get your foot in the door.

10. Record Yourself on Your Next Sales Call

This is a great way to improve your prospecting. If you don’t know why you are getting poor results, try recording your cold calls and see how you can improve your sales pitch.

Try playing it back and even getting feedback from your sales team.

Creating a script is a great way to improve upon your prospecting. It’s easy to get stuck when you don’t have a road map to rely on.

Prospecting is a skill that continues to evolve. Continue learning and improving your sales calls and email prospecting and you will be amazed with the payoff.