What is prospecting?
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Let’s assume you are new to this sales business. You know nothing about prospecting. You have goods or services for sale, And you need to market yourself to people. How do you identify the right audience that you need to sell to?
Do you go to a marketplace, stand at the center, and scream, “I am John! A sales executive with A-Z Automobiles! I sell cars for a living!” Or do you go from shop to shop, greet the shop owners and probably, their customers? And then you go, “I am Jane. I work with AC and C. I sell cakes for a living.”
But what yields the best results in prospecting is doing it the right way; employing the best techniques, establishing relationships, selling yourself with the best strategies, and using the right channels or tools.
Before we go further, let’s find out what prospecting is, and why it’s critical in sales.
What Is Prospecting?
Prospecting is the process of actively searching for leads or potential buyers (prospects) to close sales to make money for yourself, business, or company. You know, meet people, start conversations, get to know them, and sell yourself in the process.
Prospecting is how you get in touch with the other humans in the sales picture. It is how you identify your leads and also, how you convert leads to prospects, then from prospects to buyers and finally, customers.
What Are The Types Of Prospecting?
Prospecting can be inbound or outbound:
Inbound prospecting: This type of prospecting depends on more personalized outreach. It requires you to put yourself out there, either on social media, display ads, or search traffic. At the same time, addressing the pain points of your prospects.
Outbound prospecting: This type of prospecting requires you to reach out to prospects who probably know little or nothing about you. You do not have any prior connections with them, and so, you would need to put in extra effort to get to know them, find out what they are interested in, and sell yourself to them. You can do this either through cold calling or social connections.
Now that you know what prospecting is and the different types of prospecting. We assume that you’re ready to take the bull by the horns and start crushing your targets.
Prospecting looks easy, and you feel it’s something you can do at the snap of your fingers. Great! We love your zeal.
But we would also want you to know about the best methods to prospect, best-prospecting tools and strategies that work, and how you can tweak them to help you close sales as fast as possible.
Seven (7) Best Prospecting Methods To Help You Establish Connections And Increase Sales.
These are different prospecting methods that will help you establish connections with your prospects, move them up your sales funnel, and eventually close sales, and they include:
- Leveraging automated tools to generate leads
- Knowing your buyer persona
- Continuing to prospect
- Using social media
- Communicating with quality content
- Asking for referrals
- Always Following-up.
1. Leverage automated tools to generate leads.
The world has gone digital, and thankfully, there are digital methods of prospecting. You no longer have to dig up profiles on social media platforms and go through them, one after the other, to generate leads. With the help of automated tools, you can generate leads without doing the bulk of the work.
2. Know Your Buyer Persona
After you’ve generated leads, what next?
It is important to understand your customer and know how to market to them. Know the goods or services they are interested in, the people, and industries they follow. With this information, you can determine who your target audience is and work towards creating a relationship with them.
3. Keep prospecting
In prospecting, consistency is vital. You have to set time aside each day to reach out to your target audience. It does not matter if your sales pipeline is full or not. Prospecting is not only done when your pipeline is empty. You have to prospect day in day out till it becomes a habit.
4. Use social media
An online presence is very crucial in prospecting. And social media is the best way to go around this. Create a social profile to represent your brand, depending on the platform that is widely used by your target audience.
Sell your brand on Linkedin if your business is B2B, or Facebook and Twitter if your business is B2C. You can also leverage social media to pitch to new prospects that you hope to sell.
5. Communicate with quality content
Now that you’ve created an online presence, it’s time to tell your connections what you and your brand represents. Share quality content on your timeline. Find what interests your prospects, and create quality content around it.
6. Ask for referrals
Ask your customers to refer you to people they know – who might need your services. A satisfied customer will stop at no length to preach your good works to people. That way, you get more prospects without putting in any extra effort.
7. Always follow up
It’s not enough to prospect and get referrals; you have to regularly follow-up before prospects are ready to buy. Use every strategy you think will work; reach out to them, get to convince them till they convert, but do not be pushy.
It doesn’t just stop here. You have to map out techniques that would help convince your prospects to buy from you. Your prospecting process can be what sets you apart from every other prospector out there.
Below are the prospecting techniques and tactics that you can use to crush your next sales target.
5 Sales Prospecting Techniques To Try
These are sales prospecting strategies that you need to help you close sales, and they are:
- Research before connecting with your prospects
- Use your CRM
- Practice good telephone skills
- Give your buyers options to reach you
- Differentiate your brand from competitors
Research Before Connecting
Find out crucial information about your prospect before reaching out to them. It’s vital that you know your prospects and their needs. Please do not reach out to them to introduce yourself and not move the conversation. Do your research, start a conversation, and build a connection.
Use your CRM
Know your CRM and make use of this management system to store your customers’ contact details, track deals with prospects, schedule meetings, and manage deals. That way, you will get to know your prospects better, keep track of your conversations with them, and create effective follow-ups that will lead to closing sales.
Practice good telephone skills
Please bear in mind that you would be doing a lot of cold-callings to get in touch with your prospects and pitch to them. You must find the cold calling techniques that help you strike up conversations with prospects and convert them into sales.
Give your buyers options to reach you
After you have established connections and some of your prospects have indicated interests to buy from you, it’s best to give them different options to reach out to you.
Some customers prefer to communicate through emails. For some others, it could be phone calls, texts, meetings, or chatbots. Take note of their communication channels and create options for them.
Distinguish your brand from competitors
Distinguish your brand from other competitors by selling emotion along with data. Show empathy, share how you’ve helped other prospects in similar situations.
Show a difference between your brand and other brands without bad-mouthing them. Give them reasons to believe that you have the best offer and emphasize the risk of not buying from you.
Why Prospecting is Important
Prospecting, when done right, goes a long way to drive sales over the long run.
Prospecting fills up your sales pipeline
Ever wondered why the heartbeat of a sales executive increases at the mention of “prospecting”? It is because prospecting is the first step he/she takes in filling up his/her pipeline.
Prospecting saves you from the danger of an anemic pipeline. And this is the worst nightmare of every salesperson out there.
Prospecting saves you from rainy days by filling up your pipeline, giving you options if there is a fallout with a potential buyer. That way, you would be able to close sales regardless of any stumbling block you might face.
Prospecting helps you to identify the right audience
In sales, you don’t just sit back and wait for your customers to find you before you can close deals, you go out into the field to identify your target customers, or make use of automated processes to build targeted lead lists.
Prospecting helps you identify your target market, find the right buyers for your goods and services, close sales, and generate revenue.
Prospecting helps to build relationships
When you prospect, you establish connections and friendships with your prospects. You meet them, get to know them, find out what they need, and offer to help them with your goods or services.
You position yourself as a trusted expert, create awareness of your brand and personality when you prospect.
That way, people can easily differentiate your brand from the other brand, and with previous discussions or impressions you’ve created, they can trust you to deliver your promises.
Prospecting strengthens your referral network
You can’t get a referral from someone who doesn’t trust you. You can’t gain trust if the person does not know you or have a connection with you.
People refer clients to you when they can vouch for you or your goods/services. And they can only do that if they trust your brand. You can achieve this more often if you’ve been prospecting as you should.
Just before you go
How are you closing sales? How are you meeting your targets? How’s the condition of your sales pipeline? Are you ready to take action and fill it up?
Whatever the case might be, we have great news for you.
Prospecting is not some mumbo jumbo that we’ve put out there to scare you away.
We know how vital prospecting is and why it seems like an uphill task for most salespersons. And that is why we came up with SalesFinder, a lead list building software to help you fill up your sales pipeline with qualified leads.
You can also borrow a few leaves from the fanatical prospecting ebook to get you started if you prefer doing it the manual way.
Are you a newbie in sales and prospecting? Or have you been prospecting, but you feel you are not getting the best results?
The truth is, prospecting can be painless if you work smart. With SalesFinder, prospecting is way easier.