Note from the Editors: David’s tip is all about being prepared. If you don’t know something about the prospect you are trying to reach, how can you possibly hope to connect.
Too many sales people set themselves up for failure in prospecting by simply doing the wrong things: Blindly picking up the phone an dialing a number on a list or emailing someone, and pitching your products.
Prospecting is always important. To get great results from prospecting, you have to be disciplined and focused in your efforts.
- You have to know who you are talking to the individual and their company. Research is key; it gives you insight into the issues they might be concerned about.
- You have to have something meaningful or relevant to say This means it has to be about them some insights about opportunities they may be missing things they can do to improve their business, something they can learn and apply in their business. It has to be specific and relevant to them. Too many people try to provide Insight, but make great errors, because it’s the “Dear Occupant” type of Insight. It’s data or observations that may be interesting, but is not specific and unique to them.
If you want to catch their attention, you have to be specific and unique to them.
- You have to catch them where they are hanging out. Typically, multichannel approach is important, not relying on just the phone, or an email, but employing both as well as the relevant social channels.
- Better yet, make them reach out to you. If you can establish yourself as a thought leader in areas in which they have interest, they’re very likely to reach out to you. Or in the least when you call them, they will really want to talk to you. I don’t know how many times in my own prospecting, I’ve called an executive, and as soon as I’ve introduced myself they respond, “I read your blog every day, do you have time to talk to me?”
If you have something relevant and important to the person you are trying to reach, they are much more likely to want to talk than if you’ve not taken the time or shown them the respect they deserve.
Then finally, set aside time for prospecting every day. It has to be part of every sales person’s regular cadence.
About David Brock:
Dave has spent his career developing high performance sales and marketing organizations, with companies including IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments.
As a consultant, Dave is recognized as a thought leader in sales and marketing, new product introductions, and strategic partnering. He has researched, written and spoken extensively on these topics.
He speaks frequently on a wide range of business, sales, leadership, and related topics. He has addressed audiences in more than 40 countries around the globe. He is featured in many leading publications, including Selling Power, CEO Express, ThinkSales, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and other journals and publications around the world.