5 Tips for Successful Sales Prospecting

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5 Tips for Successful Sales Prospecting

John Burleson | February 12, 2015

5 Tips for Successful Sales Prospecting

 

Prospecting gets a bad rap. Most people only see it as cold calling or some other equally aggravating technique, but that is a very narrow understanding of sales prospecting. Actually, it’s basically a process of building a relationship.

 

If you don’t have the fortune of having a marketing department, you don’t need to be told how important sales prospecting is. For those of you with a marketing department, it’s still important. Marketers can’t convert everyone.

 

To be successful, you have to be willing to establish and cultivate strong relationships with potential clients. That means you have to keep refining your prospecting techniques.

 

We’re here to help. Here are 5 tips to improve your sales prospecting.

 

1. Focus

 

No matter where you are, there are a lot of distractions. You have email, social media, phone calls, texts, and that wikipedia article you found about the Walking Dead. It’s all important, but you have to turn it off.

 

You need to focus.

 

Tell you friends that you are busy. Let them know that now isn’t the best time to get caught up on office gossip, but you’ll be available later. Get a sign which says “Do not disturb” and hang it on your door.

 

2. Methods

 

To prospect well, you need to focus your time on what is working best for you, but not exclusively. If you’re great at cold calling, by all means cold call away. But there are also a number of other ways to create business relationships, such as email, networking events, social networking, referrals, and walking the floor at a trade show.

 

You have to be able to use every one of these tools.

 

Remember, your prospects are people. While you may be really good at cold calling, they may dislike getting a random call from someone they’ve never met. They have their own preferences on how they like to be approached, so don’t exclude any method.

 

3. Consistency

 

It is well known that new sales reps have to spend a lot of time prospecting and calling customers. They’re new, so they aren’t well known, and they don’t have the list of established customers to help cushion a bad month. But there is something that new reps know that established reps have forgotten, consistency goes a long way.

 

The most important way to improve your sales prospecting is to be consistent.

 

You should be prospectin each and every day. Prospects will accept your calls, read your emails, and respond to social media comments every single day. If you aren’t reaching out to them consistently, you’re losing an opportunity to start a valuable relationship.

 

4. Nurture Relationships

 

There are a lot of times you are going to hear “no.” You are probably going to hear it a lot. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need your product. Relationships, especially business relationships, are built over time.

 

The first time you call a customer, they may not recognize they need your product.

 

Your calls, thank you cards, white papers, surveys, luncheons, and constant attempts to create value will add up over time. Some of the best relationships and the biggest deals will take a long time to win. All the while, you should be constantly nurturing these relationships to create opportunities.

 

5. Outcomes

 

While you may get some people who are ready to buy after one phone call, this usually won’t happen. That’s why it’s more important to focus on your outcome. If you understand what you want out of your prospecting efforts, it’s easier to accomplish your goals.

 

For instance, you may want to just set up an appointment for you to sit down with the CEO or manager. If this is your goal, then you need to focus on this outcome. Don’t allow your prospecting to become a needs analysis, presentation, or discussion about the merits of your product.

 

Apply laser-like focus to your desired outcome.


To be successful, you have to be capable of building valuable relationships with customers that can lead to sales. With these tips you can see better success in your prospecting efforts.

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