Prospecting strategy assumes greater importance in the current scenario, particularly when you consider that it is a vital part of the entire sales process. You should be careful about not making some common mistakes while sales calling.
What is client prospecting?
Prospecting clients means that you start identifying prospective customers or prospects as they are called. The aim of the activity is the development of a database of potential customers for your business and then communicating with them in a systematic manner for converting them into final buyers.
5 fatal prospecting mistakes that you should never make
When it comes to b2b cold calling or even b2b prospecting, there are certain fatal mistakes that you should never commit by all means.
- Be careful of your tone- Many sales representatives who are new to the profession, may display lower confidence or seem nervous, particularly when they end up raising their voice at the end of every line. This may make every statement sound more like a question. Remember that you should have a friendly, warm yet confident tone along with a reconciling approach.
- Keep the focus on the customer- Do not emphasize on yourself or keep yourself as the focal point. Do not keep emphasizing on a long and winding company explanation or how it is performing excellently. Prospects are more likely to think about their own issues and objectives and will be more interested in what helps them, exciting things that get their attention and personalized messages/solutions.
- Keep the sales jargon to a minimum- No prospect will like spending time in trying to understand and process industry jargon, abbreviations, acronyms and other technical matter. Avoid the same and talk simply about the core proposition while bypassing cliches and coming straight to the point.
- Gate-keepers do not merit a lot of time- Whenever a voice responds on the other side, you may be tempted to launch into your narrative right away. However, remember that the person you are talking to, may not always be the right person for your needs. He/she may not have ample decision-making power or the suitable background for understanding the value of what you are offering. Be upfront and enquire whether they are the best people to talk to, regarding your product/service.
- No is not always binding- Understanding the best time to cold call comes with more experience. There are often rejections of a harder nature and some which are softer. You can always reach out later on at the right time even if the prospect currently says No. Studies suggest that approximately 5 calls are required for lead conversion. This means that respectful and consistent outreach is the sole method of making sure that you cash in on the opportunity whenever the time arises.
Solutions that you can use
- Consistency always counts more- You should be prospecting on a daily basis with full consistency. You should know how to activate relationships and nurture them carefully. Improve prospecting by keeping time aside on a regular basis. Do not generalize and instead, be consistent with your follow-ups and prospecting. The best way is to create a weekly blueprint which covers prospecting each day without fail. You can start this first, getting it done when you’re fresh and full of energy every day.
- Get rid of distractions- Focus on prospecting; keep friends, smartphone apps, chat groups, internet portals and emails at bay when you’re introspecting or prospecting. The more seriously you prospect, the better it will be for generating results in the long run.
- Tap into each available method- Prospecting is part of a bigger pie; you should focus on the outcome of starting new relationships, which is identification of new opportunities. Focus on methods which are working for you over as sustained time period. If cold calling is your strength, focus on that more. However, this does not mean that you keep neglecting methods like email marketing, networking, inbound marketing, direct mails, conferences and trade shows, social networking and referrals among other methods. Plan out your time for every method and have goals for the number of prospects you wish to draw from each of the same. The ultimate goal is to ferret out methods which are giving you the biggest returns on your time investment.
- Come up with scripts- Prospecting can be more successful if you write proper scripts for your sales pitches. Choose words carefully and rehearse your pitches beforehand. Experiment and be creative with your scripts and write responses every time you come across a rejection/objection and the reasons behind the same.
- Keep an eye on the results- The outcome of good prospecting is an opening of relationships. This involves getting an appointment/commitment from the prospect. Focus on the final result without overtly getting into the sales model in a manner of speaking. Just open the relationship and get an initial commitment for the future. Do not hard-sell at this juncture.
- Enhance cold calling- Cold calling is something that you should do regularly in order to build more relationships and scale up your experience in this field.
- Relationship building is the most important- You are here to build relationships no matter what. Consistency, patience and a long-term approach will certainly help you get there in the end.
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