3 Early Bird Tactics to Uncover New Sales Opportunities

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Want to win more sales? Then you need to do everything you can to give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors.

Research shows that one of the best ways to do this is by being an early bird:

  • Forrester Research discovered that the first vendor to reach a prospect and set the buying vision has a 74% close rate.
  • InsideSales found that 50% of sales opportunities go to the first salesperson to contact a prospect.

Most salespeople spend their time chasing prospects who are actively involved in making a decision. If you join them, your chances of winning are slim. Instead, go where the decision isn’t – yet – but could be. Here’s what the early bird does to find those undiscovered opportunities.

    1. Identify Similar Prospects

Let’s say you’re just wrapping up a project with a growing retail chain. While working together, you identified a new way to tackle an issue that wasn’t on anyone’s radar screen yet — and ended up delivering significant results. Your client is delighted.

If you want an unfair advantage, you should immediately pursue similar companies that likely face a near identical issue. You can get in early, open your prospect’s eyes to what’s possible, and often win business with no competition.

    1. Look for Trigger Events

Anything that alters a prospect’s priorities creates an opportunity for you.  For example, if 3rd quarter earnings are stagnant, directives go out across the company to reduce expenses. New business deals or market directions alter priorities too – sometimes overnight.

If you want an early bird advantage, analyze what creates change with your clients. Then, get serious about leveraging sales intelligence to track it.

  1. Pay Attention to Leadership Changes

New leadership always shakes things up. Brought in to make things happen, a new boss often launches new projects within months of starting.

Getting on a new leader’s calendar quickly can quickly open up sales opportunities.

Plus, if you think about it, you’ll realize that the new boss’s old position now needs to be filled. And, that old boss will be popping up somewhere soon too. That creates at least three potential opportunities with people who are eager to make their mark.

Is it unfair to capitalize on these opportunities? Not at all. It’s what savvy salespeople do all the time. They get in early, lay the groundwork, build the business case, develop strong relationships — and close deals with minimal competition.

If you want to win sales, it’s important to be the early bird.

© 2015 by Jill Konrath. Jill Konrath is the author of AGILE SELLING, Selling to Big Companies and SNAP Selling. As a sales accelerator, she helps salespeople close deals faster. She’s a frequent speaker at sales kick-off meetings and conferences. Her expertise has by featured by ABC News, Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and Inc. magazine. Click here to get her free Prospecting Toolkit.

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