When it comes to connecting, know your prospects

 

May 16, 2016 | 3 min read

Does cold contacting sales prospects give you the chills? Fear of rejection or not getting a reply back is usually the culprit. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here, we provide you with some useful, quick and easy pointers that will increase your chances of getting a prospect to engage with you. Put these tips into action and start heating up your sales today.

 

  1. There’s something familiar about you

Be sure to quickly scan your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for any past interactions that may have occurred with the prospect. Has he or she connected with your company before by visiting your website, signing up for a webinar, or downloading any marketing material? Perhaps there was previous engagement with other sales team members. This is all valuable information to have on hand before emailing or calling. You’ll get a better sense of what their needs might be, plus it shows that you’ve done your research prior to connecting, and that goes a long way in establishing a positive first interaction.

 

  1. Scan the company website

A company website holds a potential treasure trove of data ready to be mined for nuggets of valuable information. These can prove priceless for when you first connect. A quick scan will give you a clear idea of what precisely the company does, the location of its office(s), and the size of their team. See how researching these main website pages will have you sounding, and selling, like a pro (which you are, of course).

  • About Us page: This is where you can unlock mutual contacts to reference or have them connect you. Is there a board member, customer, or another employee that you recognize? If so, this will open email doors and phone lines by establishing trust with your prospect.
  • News section: Is there an expansion announcement, an acquisition, upcoming conferences or meetings? Where was their last corporate event held? Seek out items masked as needs or problems that you can fulfill or solve.
  • Blog: What’s on the company’s top of mind these days? Is your prospect a contributor? A quick blog scan can also provide useful material to help open and then carry the conversation forward.

 

  1. Social Media checkup

Your prospect’s LinkedIn profile is the obvious first stop to see if you have any mutual contacts that can refer you (remember executives respond positively to referrals 84% of the time). Next, scan their profile and recent activity to see what you can find about their career (promotions, accomplishments etc.) and if you share anything in common with them (background, education, interests etc.) to reference.

Next stop is Twitter. Type your prospect’s company handle into the ‘Search Twitter’ bar, then choose the ‘Search all people’ query to see a list of all employees. Once you locate your contact’s personal profile, you’ll be able to get a better grasp on his or her interests, values, and influences.

 

  1. Scan the competitive landscape

How is your prospect’s company performing in relation to the competition? Conduct a quick analysis to see how they stand up against their main rivals. Chances are they have some catching up to do in certain areas, and could grow further in others.

With this information you can show how you can add value to their business and help them to achieve their goals. And ultimately that is what sales, and a healthy client relationship, is all about.

Arming yourself with as much actionable information as possible will help to establish context, and trust, with your prospect. This will give you an advantage, because unlike you’re competitors, you won’t be just coming in from the cold.

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