Sales Prospecting Tips
There is an old saying that goes as “It doesn’t take sales to grow a business but, it takes relationships”. Most of the sales coaches will advise their students to develop a good rapport with their prospects, than trying to persuade them to buy a product or service. Many business personnel are uncomfortable with a sales approach as their strength is not in closing sales deals and being persuasive.
Once this attitude is changed to a relationship building strategy, the process becomes easy and more efficient. This way the sales person is able to close more sales deals with the utmost ease. The latest approach in sales prospecting is to focus one’s attention in building a sound relationship with the existing customers, as well as, new clients. This article will highlight some of the most effective tips that can be used in sales prospecting.
- Focus on your target business segment. The business world is quite large, and you will be wasting your time if you don’t target the right clients for your lead generation campaign. Take some time to build your ideal customer profile. Do the necessary research before going out to the market. Prepare a database with all the details about the right client for your business and then make it a point to contact them.
- Make sure to do your homework before going out to meet the ideal customer. Review their business website and the social profiles: mainly their LinkedIn presence, to get an idea about the current projects, upcoming events and the key personnel in the company. If you also have a LinkedIn presence, it will be a good thing to check if both of you have a common contact, who could be a facilitator to introduce you to the client. This type of relationships can be a great way of connecting with the customer easily. It is also significant for you to stay current on the trends and general issues within your targeted marketing segment. This will help you to know what is necessary for your prospective client.
- The information that was gathered during the research process can be used to prepare a personal message that will complement your prospective customer’s needs and business activities. This will show the client that you are genuinely concerned about their needs. Prospecting is not an emotionless letter that is cut and pasted from another document. The message should be personal and appeal to the emotional problem that you are planning to solve with your product or service.
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- At this point, prospects will be interested about your product or service. But your job is not over yet. The clients will want to know further information about your product or service before making a decision to buy the product or service. This is where your relationship building skills will show off the most. You will have to invite them to view your portfolio online or suggest a follow up meeting, in person or by phone.
Let the customer decide what is best for him. Don’t close the sales deal before the customer is 100% satisfied that your product or service is the best to solve his or her emotional problem. Forcing a sale on the customer at this point can backfire on you and you may lose a client that would have been a lifetime client, if you went that extra mile in building up the relationship at that particular stage.
- Now is the time to take action and close the sales deal. If you have come this far, you may have surely built a sound relationship with the prospective client. Now that the customer knows about your trustworthiness and that you genuinely care, he or she will definitely be one of your customer’s for a lifetime. Regular visits or at least a phone call a week is necessary to allow the relationship to strengthen further. Even if you don’t have any product that could satisfy the client’s needs, calling him, or her to inquire about how they are doing, is of utmost importance. This will greatly facilitate the bond between you and your customer.
Documenting your prospecting activities is ideal to track your results and stay motivated. Targeting a particular number of sales prospects a week is a good practice to achieve better results with your efforts. Following up with a regular prospect or arranging a meeting with a new prospect can be done according to your own schedule. Following up is very importance to retain the prospects and generate profits for a longer period of time. Referrals through word of mouth are a great benefit of practicing a relationship based sales approach. This is the best way forward in this competitive business environment. Customer is king and retaining the customer is the number one priority of the sales personnel of a business entity.