Note from the Editors: Jim’s article uses a fishing metaphor to explain how to use new media in combination with traditional techniques to earn the right to speak with your prospect.


How content will help you gain attention, earn the right, and discover what’s important to prospects before you ever speak with them — to get more first meetings within 35 days than you get now.

In B2B selling to self-educating, online, on-demand buyers, the law of attraction works better than the law of intrusion. You know this instinctively, and from the way you yourself like to buy. But, you may have been trained or you work inside of a selling culture that values hunting over all else. So first, check your mindset, your belief system. If you are not open to a different approach, this isn’t for you.

You hunt first to find, then to catch.
A fisherman must go to the river to fish. But the fisherman knows after selecting the best location (your ideal customer profile), the right bait is the key to success. We continue to see sales organizations spend tremendous time and effort making outbound, cold prospecting calls, will little to no results, except the frustration of sales people. Even those who have adopted social selling techniques often simply apply the same phone and email techniques to new social communication channels.

To leverage new media it’s best to rethink your approach. We must attract buyer attention so they discover us in the first place. We must earn the right for an initial conversation with “crazy busy people”. If we prepare the ground for the seeds of our ideas, our insights will be received and will grow faster. We will “slow down to sell faster.” Buyer relevant information is the key. This information must be packaged, managed and delivered in buyer-convenient ways. To earn the right to a conversation, you must “give to get.”

You must also learn what is most important to each buyer at the specific timing of your engagement. But buyers don’t want to waste their time educating you about their problems. That’s your job. By tracking prospect content consumption you can accomplish each of these objectives.

A new prospecting approach
We suggest you create messages, and build or find content your buyers will find useful. Then engage prospects over four weeks through a combination of simultaneous voice mails and emails. We refer to these as “touches.”

The key techniques are:

  • Send a trackable email with prospect relevant content.
  • Leave a voice-mail about the prospect relevant problem your content addresses, to get the prospect to view your email and content.
  • Touch the prospect this way four times before calling to request an introduction conversation.

For a comprehensive guide with technique checklist 35 Days to Great First Sales Meetings, go to (simple registration may be required).

prospecting tips

About Jim Burns
Jim Burns is founder and CEO of Avitage, a 20 year marketing and sales enablement company in Boston, Massachusetts.

Avitage addresses the problem that content is the key driver of go-to-market success, yet most organizations treat content as a low level tactical expense. They believe organizations that don’t embrace content as a strategic imperative and change their outdated content operations model will realize lower performance at the operational, tactical and strategic business levels.

Avitage customers get more out of content investments: quality, outputs and business outcomes, through the deployment of a leveraged content publishing system.

Topics: sales meeting


Comments are closed.