5 Keys to Successful Prospecting
While a novel could be written on this subject, this is a simple summary to help you get going.
1. Know How to Get “In the Door”
- Research: Use the Prospect’s website to briefly learn about the company, identify key players and get a sense of their Corporate Culture.
- Connection: Having a “bridge” will give you credibility – something you can share together (people, place, events). This is a “bridge” between you and them.
- Contacting: Don’t rely on them to call you back – keep calling, leave 1 message only.
- Qualify: Always quickly assess whether the Prospect is a “fit”. Don’t waste their time or yours!
2. Build Trust & Credibility FIRST!
- The order: Understand them. Sell yourself. Sell your company & then sell your services/products.
- Understand them: Don’t push “you” until you understand them.
- Get personal: Learn one thing personal (e.g. kids, sports, hobbies) & share about you.
- “Little touches”: Initiate lots of little touches overtime via phone, voicemail, mail & email. This will build trust & relationship and keep you top of mind for when their need does come up.
3. ALWAYS Have a “Next Step”
- A shared path: Build expectations with the Prospect right up front.
- What’s next: Don’t end a conversation without committed next steps.
- You drive: Avoid waiting for them. Whatever there is to do, you do it.
- Confirm: Use email to recap conversations, meetings just booked, and confirm future meetings.
- Follow through: Complete, on time, every action you commit to.
4. Have a Purpose/Goal for Every Step
- Strategy: Know what the desired outcome should be.
- Agenda: Define your agenda at each stage.
- Share it: Get commitment from the Prospect on each step.
- Follow it: Stick to your agenda.
At minimum, make sure they will welcome another call from you. Ask yourself … “When I call back, will they remember me? Will they welcome this call?”
IMPORTANT: “No Thanks” does not mean “disqualified”: An early error is thinking that if they are not interested, they are disqualified. Not so! Assuming they qualify, they may not have a need at that moment OR they will tell you they are not interested or disengage the discussion because they don’t feel comfortable enough yet. Remember, they hardly know you yet.