Sales Prospecting Best Practices
Prospecting is a key selling skill and a critical skill to develop if you want to increase your sales and achieve long-term success in sales. Yet, most sales people don’t invest enough time to this integral sales strategy. Part of the problem is that very few companies teach sales reps how to prospect. Here are five prospecting best practices for you to consider.
Allot a specific amount of time every day/week or month.
When my wife first started her software training business, our accountant said, “Devote a certain amount of time every week looking for new business.”
Prospecting is not a fun activity, at least not for most people. However, the more time you consistently invest prospecting for new business the more likely it is that you will never suffer from a sales slump. That’s why it is imperative that you block time in your calendar each and every week to prospect for new business.
Do you schedule prospecting time into your calendar every week?
Use a variety of methods to prospect for new business.
Too many sales people take the same approach week after week. Although they may generate good results it is critical that you use multiple methods and approach to uncover new business leads. Here are a few strategies you should consider:
- Cold calling via telephone
- Door to door cold calling
- Asking for referrals
- Speaking at conferences
- Writing articles
- Trade shows
Are you using enough prospecting methods to generate ample sales leads for your business?
Develop a powerful introduction.
The majority of sales people fail miserably at this. I recall talking to a person I met at a networking event and after a fifteen minute conversation, I still had no idea of what she did or what service she provided to her clients.
Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak suggests that you have 18 seconds to capture someone’s attention and an addition 100 seconds to convince them why they should continue a conversation or schedule a follow-up call or meeting. Is your introduction powerful enough to capture the attention of new prospects?
Master all types of media including; telephone, email, text, direct mail, and social media.
Today’s business offers many more ways to communicate with prospect which makes it easier AND more complex to connect with new prospects. This means you need to be able to communicate effectively in more mediums than before.
- Does your voice mail message help you stand out from your competition?
- Can you send an email that compels your prospect to respond?
- Do you know how to write an effective sales letter?
- Are you utilizing social media to connect with your prospects?
Create a compelling value proposition.
The vast majority of sale people simply do not create a compelling reason why someone should do business with them or buy their product or service. Their voice mails messages, emails and sales pitches sound like everyone else’s and do little to compel a prospect to return their call, respond to their email, or call them back after a sales presentation.
Is your value proposition valuable enough to compel your prospect to want to talk to you? Consistent and effective prospecting can make the difference between average sales and great sales results. If you are serious about increasing your sales, make the effort to apply the strategies into your daily and weekly sales routine.