Sales prospecting is finding potential customers or clients who may qualify based on their financial capacity, buying power and willingness to buy. Success in sales is measured by one’s ability to finding and closing a significant number of qualified prospects. It is not just simple prospecting, but mastering the art of proactive prospecting. You must find proactive ways to attract customers to you or finding ways for you to get them. Did you know that the greatest reason for failure in sales is lack of qualified prospects?
The traditional method in sales prospecting is cold calling, and honestly, nobody likes to cold call because it is bound to fail. Calling on low likelihood prospects who are tough to close might lead to failure. Also, making an appointment with prospects are met with much aversion, that talking to them again is unlikely to happen. Hence, developing a relationship with these prospects is not going to happen.
Effective prospecting is a critical part of the sales process. Prospects are not going to come to you, so it's up to you to find them and get in touch with them. This blog post will teach you five ways that you can effectively prospect for new business!
Five Ways to Effective Prospecting
Use your LinkedIn profile:
Your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important tools in your arsenal when it comes to effective prospecting. Don't just add anyone who requests a connection; use this tool wisely and strategically by targeting connections that match your target market or organization type. You'll be surprised how many prospects will start coming out of the woodwork if they see an opportunity for collaboration with someone like themselves- all because they saw your profile!
Leverage your existing connections:
Don't forget about the connections already in your network! Reach out to them by phone or email and get their advice on how you can reach new prospects. These people are often willing to help, so don't be afraid to ask (and let them know that this is part of a larger project for which you're looking at collaboration).
Get active on social media:
Social media can be a great place to find new prospects, especially if you have built up your following organically over time. Use Twitter and Facebook as tools for prospecting by searching hashtags or key terms relevant to your niche! If another company is using the same term, reach out via direct message or tweet them back with an offer of collaboration- chances are they will respond favorably.
Look at Instagram! You may not think that this platform would lead directly to business opportunity, but it does happen all the time. Take a look around and see what other companies in similar industries are posting about- then comment with questions or offers of collaboration! Don't forget about either; search for groups related to your industry or niche and post a question about the topic. Often other members will answer, so be sure to engage with those people as well!
If you're looking for new prospects, don't limit yourself to the tried and true methods of cold calling or emailing. Instead, get creative! Host a networking event at your office or another location that gets attention- make sure it's relevant to your industry though! Attend conferences in your field with a booth set up so people can stop by and share their contact information with you. There are many ways to effectively prospect without resorting to traditional means; just be flexible and willing to go out of the box if need be!
Use the "Rule of Three" to your advantage:
When it comes down to finding prospects, you can't ever go wrong with a tried and true method! The Rule of Three is one that has been used for decades in business because it simply works. It involves three simple steps; first, identify all possible leads within an organization by name (higher up the food chain if possible), second ask each lead who else they would recommend speaking with at their organization, third contact each new person until someone says no or agrees to speak. Not only does this save time by cutting out dead ends- but also makes sure that everyone in the company knows about your interest before you even set foot inside!