Prospecting Tips for 2021

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Prospecting is something that most salespeople don’t enjoy – however it is a vital part of your DAILY – YES DAILY routine. It is not something than can be done as a one off, as our virtual training courses will tell you, prospecting needs to be an ongoing part of your sales process.

Proper prospecting can mean sustained sales success.

So how do you prospect effectively?

Start with producing a target list

I would suggest not to have too many on it – maybe 25-50 maximum. Any more becomes hard to manage. Don’t forget these lists are fluid and targets will be crossed off and added as needed.

You can use subjects such as:

  • Industry
  • Job Title
  • Geography
  • Competitor clients

Or anything else relevant to formulate your list. But having a well-researched target list is an important first step.

Choose your contact options.

Most salespeople stick to one trusted method of contact. I recommend you expand this and opt for multiple contact strategies. By doing this you increase your statistical probability. Researching your target list will help you know which channel to use, here are some options:

  • Voicemail
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Video Messaging
  • Text / WhatsApp Messaging
  • In-Person
prospecting tips

Touch points

The objective of a prospecting sequence is to engage a prospect.  Touchpoints should help you improve your engagement.  You will need to try out a few options to see which works best for your offering. Some will respond best to a phone call as stage one, whilst others will prefer an email or social media. There is not right or wrong order of touchpoints, but you will likely need more than one. Often when you front load an engagement sequence before the in person contact it yields better results.

Some examples you could try are:

2/1/1: Social Media x 2: Email x 1: Phone call x 1

2/2/2/1- Phone x 2: Email x 2: Social x 2 : Video Message x 1

There are so many options and you will need to try some out and see which works best for you

Duration of your touchpoint sequence

The next step is to work out the duration / timescale.

Two Weeks • Three Weeks • 30-Days • 60-Days • 90-Days

There is no right or wrong when planning for duration. You will need to consider the size of prospect, maybe allow longer for bigger accounts.

You will also need to consider the sales cycle -how long to onboard them as a client etc

You therefore may need different durations for different services and client size.

 When is the best time?

By this I mean which day of the week and time of the day will yield the best results.

Many people will say, Tuesday and Thursday are the best days – mid morning.

For me I have found this not to be the case. Firstly, it depends on your market – the Middle East is different to the UK, to USA etc.

For some markets I opt for the morning, for others late afternoon.

This knowledge only comes with trail and error, but its vital to work it out as it can make a huge difference.

What to say?

All the other steps mean nothing if you have not developed a compelling message.

This is the hardest step!  Poorly thought-out messaging is why most prospecting fails. It is difficult to craft messaging, over multiple prospecting touches, that is relevant to your targeted prospects and that does not come across like cheesy, generic marketing scripts. To be effective, messaging should be interconnected across touches, relevant to your targeted prospects and compelling enough to motivate people to engage. Design the interconnected messages to be a conversation with your prospect. This allows you to tell your story without pitching.

Whats in it for them? Are you meeting their needs, answers their problems etc.  Only when you answer this will they want to engage and talk further.

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