When you’re selling your products or services, you need to build a list of prospective customers, and then reach out to them. The process of reaching out is often called “prospecting”. And as you may or may not know, this is a critical stage in the sales process. That’s why this article on 7 steps to better prospecting jumped out at me.
Here are my top 3 favorites from the list.
1. Develop a killer call opener. You have less than 20 seconds to capture your prospects’ attention, so skip the BS about your company, your product and your service and focus on what is important to them.
So true. It is the difference between being invited in for a chat and having the door shut in your face. Practice, over and over again, saying in a couple of sentences how and why your product can benefit them.
2. Never open a cold call with “Hi, how are you today?” Contrary to popular belief, prospects don’t view this as a rapport-building question.
I totally agree. It’s too friendly and familiar, almost invading personal space. I prefer opening with: Is this a good time to call? This shows you respect their time. And I’ve found that about 80% of the time, their response is, “well, it depends what you’re calling about”.
Voila, that’s your opening to show them how you can add value to their business and lives.
3. Be persistent. It used to take 7-8 touches to connect with a new prospect, but now that number has doubled. That means you need to be persistent when trying to make a connection.
Most sales people give up after 2 or 3 attempts. Persistence, and creativity in reaching out, will ensure you get in front of the people you’re trying to serve. And when you give value, perhaps by giving them a nugget of information that’s of interest to them, you will accelerate your chances of sitting across the table from them.
Just a final point: some believe people don’t like receiving a phone call anymore. And it’s true. I don’t. Especially sales calls! But if that person calls and gives me valuable information that could save me time and money, I am grateful for the call. Yet that rarely happens. So giving value, my friends, will give you the edge.