Prospecting is a crucial and very challenging part of the sales process. In the past, cold calling was typically enough to keep your sales pipeline full. While cold calling is still effective, it is not as useful as it once was. It seems to have become more challenging to get in touch with potential buyers, differentiate yourself, and land more meetings.
If you keep relying on the same old methods for generating leads, whether that’s cold calling or attending networking events to connect with decision-makers, you could be missing out on lucrative opportunities. To succeed in the new sales environment, you cannot do what you have always done.
Here are a few tips for you to consider:
Learn how to use video. Adding video to your email immediately makes the message more interesting. There is no special equipment needed, and you do not need to have an elaborate background. Simply investigate the camera on your computer, introduce yourself, educate on something, and share a resource your audience can use. Utilizing video as a prospecting tool, you will begin to see more leads moving through your sales funnel.
Leverage your losses. Consider the last five to ten deals you did not close. For example, if you lost to a competitor, you should try to find out what the competitor did to win the deal. Try asking the client what the difference in the proposals was. You could also potentially turn things around if the initial timing were not right. In most cases, you can generate referrals by asking, “Is there anyone else in your network you can think of who could use some help with…”
Establish alliances with non-competing competitors. Your clients and prospects have many other services and products continually being pitched to them. When you create alliances with some of these other businesses, you get some major benefits, including the number of people you can network with and sell to. By creating partnerships, you also expand your circle of trust, cultivating people who know you and value your work.
Consider hosting a CEO luncheon. People love to be around professionals who are like them or whom they aspire to be. They like to network with them. To make this sales prospecting strategy work, tackle the three Ps:
- Presence: The group must be small and comprised of senior-level attendees
- Packaging: The luncheon must feel and sound exclusive
- Positioning: The event must combine lunch/dinner with big questions.
This technique is not about the hard sell or fast close. You are allowing attendees to get to know each other and to get to know you. This provides an opportunity to hear about problems the CEOs undergo while building relationships.
Ask for an introduction. Before meeting a business contact or former colleague for lunch, make a simple request: “Since I am going to be in your part of town, would you mind introducing me to your [boss/CEO/VP of sales]? I have been meaning to reach out to them …” Your objective is simply to get introduced, get contact details, and establish a “next step.”
If you want to update your sales prospecting skills, try implementing some of these ideas. You might be surprised at how well these uncommon strategies will work for you. Give them a shot–and thrive.
If you’re curious about how you can apply these techniques to your prospecting, reach out to our coaching department for that extra nudge you’re looking for.