Prospecting is one of the most important sales techniques that representatives use. They send outbound emails or make outbound calls to leads, hoping they can create opportunities for selling products or services. With proper techniques, prospectors can achieve predictable return on investment.
Not all sales representatives rely on prospecting. They consider it too aggressive, and they often get denied when making attempts. However, when they implement effective practices, they can boost the volume of leads they reach. That comes with obvious benefits. The more leads you have, the more the sales will grow.
Let’s focus on how you can build relationships with potential leads and make sure that you represent a trustworthy brand. You’ll find out how to actively use social media, use video as part of your sales promotion techniques, offer webinars, and much more.
12 Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques
- Make Friendly Instead of Cold Calls
- Try Twitter Chats
- Use Apps that Make the Sales Process More Effective
- Get on Reddit and Quora
- Get Referrals
- Attend Events and Engage in Networking
- Offer a Webinar
- Make Video Calls
- Don’t Be Too Reliant on Sales Slang
- Try Different Scripts
- Be Someone They Can Trust
- Show that You’re an Expert
1. Make Friendly Instead of Cold Calls
Cold-calling and cold-email used to be the main sales strategies. This is the so-called outbound approach, which requires the salesperson to speak to people who didn’t ask to speak with them. The inbound approach is completely opposite: it’s about building relationships with prospects who clearly expressed their wish to engage with the brand (subscribers and previous customers).
Cold calling is the main reason why so many salespeople are against prospecting. However, it’s very useful for establishing initial contact with a new prospect. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be too cold.
When you send the first email or make the first call, introduce yourself as the representative. This gives a human element to the communication. If you get to the prospect through a shared connection, you can mention the person who links you.
Make the customer familiar with your brand, and maintain a friendly tone throughout the communication. The more you warm up the cold calls, the more productive they are.
2. Try Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are among the best sales techniques for prospecting. This is a public conversation, which revolves around a unique hashtag on Twitter. You can make it part of your sales strategies by initiating conversations and keeping your prospects engaged in them.
You can come up with a unique hashtag that reflects the brand or the product you try to promote. Then, you’ll think of a weekly discussion topic and invite industry experts to share their thoughts on it. This is a great way to reach out to the followers of those experts. But you’ll also engage your followers and many random Twitter users in your conversations.
Whenever you see great interest, you can follow up on those users with an email.
Avon representatives seem to love this technique. Sometimes no one responds. But the followers see these triggers and at least they think about the products. Check out some of their Twitter chats:
3. Use Apps that Make the Sales Process More Effective
You need a few apps that will help you plan and perform different sales techniques:
- A mind-mapping app, which helps you jot down ideas and tailor the right offer for a particular prospect.
- Different productivity apps for tracking the time you spend on prospecting, staying focused on your work, and giving yourself breaks when needed.
- Task management apps, which help you share the best sales techniques with your team and keep everyone updated on your progress.
If you use a Mac, all these apps can get effective. Consider using Setapp - a subscription service that gives you access to premium apps for a low monthly fee.
4. Get on Reddit and Quora
When someone has a question and they aren’t happy with the answers that Google gives them, they want to learn from the experience of others. In that case, they turn to Quora, Reddit, and other forum-like services.
You should include these platforms in your prospecting sales techniques. When you provide an answer, you can include an email address where people can contact you.
Try searching Quora questions about Kirby, Dyson, and similar brands for vacuum cleaners. You’ll see salespeople getting in discussions, highlighting the advantages of the products they represent:
5. Get Referrals
When outreaching to prospects, you’ll get disappointed many times. But you have to keep making attempts, since you’ll eventually have success. When things go well, you should ask the lead for referrals. They can recommend some of their contacts, who would also need the product or service you sell.
You can also ask them to become part of a case study, where you’ll measure their experience before and after using your product/service. Their testimonials are also valuable, so get them! Their social media friends will see those testimonials and believe them.
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6. Attend Events and Engage in Networking
The first step is to find networking events that are worth attending. Get information about the people who would attend those events and the topics covered. Then, show up and network!
This is one of the most direct sales prospecting techniques. Everyone goes there for the same purpose of networking, so your offers for conversations won’t seem weird.
7. Offer a Webinar
When you call someone as part of your sales promotion techniques, they might not have the energy to listen to you over the phone. When they see an email, they might not have the time to go through it at the moment. That’s why you should offer them to attend a webinar that you’ll soon host.
You should choose a topic that all prospects will benefit from. It should be a learning experience for them. When you host a webinar, you’re in the place of an educator. Discuss common issues that your audience faces, and suggest your products or services as potential solutions.
Here's an example of a webinar offer I recently got in my inbox:
8. Make Video Calls
They are more personal. People will believe you more if you use your body language and facial expressions to convey self-confidence and empathy. You can invite prospects to video calls when you send out emails. Google Hangouts are easy, and they can reach out whenever they find the time for a conversation.
9. Don’t Be Too Reliant on Sales Slang
If you use too aggressive sales techniques for prospecting, you’ll only make people nervous. They will refuse the offer and you’ll keep pushing. They will try to be nice, but everyone has their limits.
What people hate the most about salesmen is their pushy attitude. Here’s how a Quora user describes them:
The process of prospecting is not about selling. It’s about getting people interested in the product or service you represent. Get them informed. Ask about the issues they face and explain what solutions you offer. Then, give them some space before you follow up with additional sales prospecting techniques.
10. Try Different Scripts
It’s no secret: all salespeople have a script. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you copy the script of your mentor, you’re not adding a personal touch, you’re not trying anything new, and your job inevitably gets boring after a while.
Try to give it some character. Use different scripts for different prospects, so you’ll see what works and what doesn’t. Make sure to stay flexible. Having a script doesn’t mean that you must stick to it under any circumstances. The most important thing is to listen to the prospect and guide the conversation with a logical flow.
Check out winning cold calling scripts created by the Cience team.
11. Be Someone They Can Trust
Many salespeople go hiatus as soon as their sales strategies work. Someone bought the product and they face an issue. They trust to contact the sales agent, but they cannot reach them even after making several calls and sending emails.
Don’t be that person.
Be someone they can trust. Tell your prospects about the support that your company provides for its users, and explain that you’ll be available to solve any issues they face.
12. Show that You’re an Expert
When you’re trying to convince people to buy something, you must sound like you know what you’re talking about. You should have answers to all the questions you get. You must be able to explain how your product or service compares to competitive offers.
We highly recommend salespeople to start their own blogs, which will establish them as thought leaders. Your prospects can get informed there.
Carol Tice, a writer who sells online courses to other writers, is successful at doing that because she has a great blog. People trust her because she has experience and she shares it. Here’s one of the emails I got from her:
You can see she knows what she teaches, since she shares her own experience.
The best sales techniques for prospecting boost your chances to succeed. Don’t be too humble; outreaching is the best thing you can do if you want to attract more people towards your brand. When you start using certain techniques, don’t forget to evaluate the results they help you achieve. Stay flexible and adapt different approaches to the situations you face.
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