To begin any prospecting, you have to ask yourself two questions; 1) What is the outcome I can help the prospects receive and 2) Who is the right type of customer that this would appeal to.
If you do not demonstrate (quickly) how and why the customer should pay attention to you, there is little reason for them to listen to you.
You have to match the sales cycle to the buy cycle, then start your prospecting before that time.
In one phone call you can exchange more information than you can going back and forth in emails.
Tools to use while prospecting; phone, email, texting, direct mail, social media. Use whatever tools you have available.
Clear consistent messaging is critical, regardless of which form of communication you are using.
There are three levels of sales people out there: 1) The customer service person (the farmer) 2) Those that close deals because the company has a great funnel and product (order takers) 3) The one that goes out and creates the business, the one that knows how to lead the prospect and create the flow (the prospector).
You can build rapport with a prospect when approaching them outbound by first figuring out what your key message points are. This is to educate the market which can be done very well with social media.
The biggest mistake a company can make when prospecting is not to follow up with what they start. It can take 6 or more attempts to reach out to someone before you start receiving feedback. Another mistake is to not challenge the prospect fast enough which causes you to be having conversations with unqualified leads.
A narrow sales funnel is better, it will allow you to work on qualifying better and faster which will allow you to have more time to work with the qualified prospects.
Price discounting – when you have to discount the price of your product, it is because you have not done a good enough job at uncovering and explaining value.
If you find the needs that are of value to the prospect from an early stage, you can be much stronger in the negotiation. For example if the client needs the item by tomorrow, you know that that the timing is much more important to them than the pricing.
Sales reps should have no flexibility with pricing. This will cause them to become better at delivering value.
What is your favorite sales or leadership book? How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Mike Weinberg, Jeb Blount, Anthony Iannarino
Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? Available 23.99/7
What is your favorite tool used for sales? Evernote
What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? Be open to other people and other ideas. Never think that your idea is the perfect idea.