We all know that the rise of the internet has changed the way people do business in about a million different ways. It has changed the way that buyers buy, and therefore, the way salespeople sell. A salesperson’s Rolodex used to be their most important asset. Although relationships are still a key ingredient of sales, they are no longer the only ingredient. Technology has become entrenched in the sales process, changing sales from just an art to both an art and a science.
I would argue that prospecting, specifically, is an art and a science, and if there is one thing that I’ve learned so far in my career in sales, it’s that there is no magic bullet.
However, there are some prospecting tips and tricks that can help your sales.
1. Consistency Is Key
It’s easy for prospecting to fall to the wayside when you are further along in the buying process and in closing business. Sending out contracts and finalizing paperwork are high priorities, and prospecting can be the last thing on your mind. However, if you want to see consistent results in your prospecting efforts, you need to be consistent yourself. Prospecting is something that should be done each and every day. Make a weekly plan when it comes to prospecting. Blocking time on your calendar for prospecting efforts will help remind you daily to get it done.
2. Eliminate All Distractions
During your designated prospecting blocks that you’ve put in your calendar, go on “do not disturb” mode so that you aren’t distracted by the tasks you tend to get buried by each and every day. Try not to answer any other emails or calls. Hang a sign outside of your door or cubicle. Do whatever you need to do to ensure that you are free of distractions.
3. Prospect in Chunks
You will be much more efficient if you do all of your outreach in chunks. For example, you could start your prospecting block by making all of your outreach calls in a row. Not only will you feel more comfortable on the phone after making calls repeatedly, but it is more time-effective as well. You will get a lot more out of your time than if you were to make a call, jump on LinkedIn, prep for a demo, and then go back to make another call. Getting all of your prospecting done in chunks will help you stay in the prospecting mindset.
4. Use Every Channel Available
It takes 18 calls or touches to connect with a buyer, so utilizing all of the different methods available to you is key. Even if you are really good on the phone or write stunning emails, you should include all of the different outreach methods in your arsenal. There are many ways you can get in front of your prospects, including phone calls, emails, social networks, videos, voicemails, networking events, trade shows, and direct mail (never underestimate the power of a handwritten letter) to name a few. There are some amazing free tools that can help you stand out like Vidyard’s GoVideo Chrome extension and LinkedIn’s voice messaging feature. Alternating between different methods and using unique messaging for each touch point allows your prospects to consider your offer and respond at a time that is convenient for them.
5. Use Technology
There are so many ways technology can help your prospecting efforts. I know updating your CRM can be tedious, but your CRM is your friend. Use the tasks feature within your CRM to stay organized and keep you on track. There is a sense of gratification when you are able to cross a task off of your to-do list! You can use Datanyze to learn more about your prospects’ companies and the technologies they are using. Google Alerts allow you to track keywords that are relevant to your prospects. HubSpot’s technology makes it easy for you to automate your follow-up emails by sending a series of timed, tailored emails to your prospects. When I first found out about sequences within HubSpot, my mind was blown! It’s a prospecting game changer.
6. Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
Selling is hard! Even the best and most tenured salespeople fumble their words from time to time and don’t have the answers to every question. We are all human, and mistakes happen. Not only are mistakes inevitable, but they also help us grow. Your prospects don’t expect you to be perfect—you shouldn’t expect yourself to be either. Acknowledge your mistakes and move forward.
7. Celebrate the Wins
In sales, you are faced with a lot of rejection. Learning to celebrate the small wins can help you stay level on the roller coaster ride that a career in sales can be. Did you hit all of your prospecting goals this week? Did a prospect compliment you on your knowledge? Did your colleague give you a shout-out? Pat yourself on the back. Like I already mentioned, selling is hard and reminding yourself of your victories can be crucial to finding balance.
Prospecting is the lifeblood of selling. With these tips, you can get more out of your prospecting efforts, stay even keel, and find ways to stand out from the crowd.