We all need clients. But, how do we get more clients?
It all starts with sales prospecting.
What is sales prospecting?
It is a series of sales activities to help you get a list of qualified sales leads that would eventually convert to your clients.
If you are reading my blog, most likely, you have already started some sales prospecting activities.
For example, you probably have gone to a networking event to connect with your ideal clients.
You have tried to connect with people on LinkedIn.
You have called your old colleagues to see if they could refer you some clients.
These are all prospecting activities.
So, are you getting the results you want from your sales prospecting activities?
Do you ever feel frustrated after spending your hard-earned money and precious time on certain activities, but not getting any clients from these activities?
Today, let me share with you my tips after 15 years of sales prospecting.
I have done them all.
These are the tips that will help you stay consistent with your prospecting activities and get the most success from these activities.
Sales Prospecting Tip #1: Be selective with your prospecting plan
As entrepreneurs, you do not have limitless resources or time. That’s why you want to be strategic when it comes to prospecting.
This is especially important when it comes to today when everyone seems to be telling us things like the “magic” prospecting formula.
Too often, I see entrepreneurs who keep on trying the next best thing, instead of staying consistent in their core prospecting strategy.
Carefully consider your sales goals and your target clients before you decide on certain prospecting activities.
- Who is your target market?
- What is your sales goal?
- What are your prospecting strategies?
- What are your prospecting action goals?
Have a clear plan so that you stay focused and consistent.
Want to discover the best prospecting strategy for you, check out Prospecting Decision Grid
Sales Prospecting Tip #2: Have clear goals
Yes. Our prospecting goal is to get clients.
At the same time, it takes stages to eventually get clients.
So, you are more likely to get the results you want by breaking down your entire sales process from getting in front of your prospects, engaging with them and building trust to closing the sales.
Then, ask yourself, what are your steps and what do you want to achieve from one particular prospecting activity.
Also, what do you want from your prospects to lead them through the sales process?
Want to build your sales process? Use this Sales Engagement Roadmap worksheet to build your sales process.
Sales Prospecting Tip #3: Know your number
Last week, I was speaking with a female entrepreneur who just started her copywriting business.
She was complaining because she’s not getting any results from networking events she attends.
“Networking does not work anymore,” she proclaimed.
I then asked her, “How many networking events have you attended?”
She said, “One.”
But, she immediately followed up with another comment. “But, I did not get any clients from that networking event.”
I carefully pointed out that with one networking event, it’s hard to know whether networking really works or not.
Here is the magic about numbers.
If you track your prospecting activities with the number such as:
- the number of networking events you have attended,
- the number of cold call you made,
- the number of LinkedIn invitation you sent,
You will have a clear picture of your sales prospecting results and improve.
“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” – Michael Hyatt
So, start tracking your sales activities and your results.
Sales Prospecting Tip #4: Stay focused by block time off
Prospecting should be the priority for every entrepreneur. Yet, not everyone is spending enough time prospecting.
Why is that? Because others things often get in the way.
I sell for my own account as well as lead our sales team to sell for my clients.
As a mom of 2 active boys, business owner, and an active sales executive, how do I get all my prosecuting done?
I get it done by staying focused.
Here is the secret. If I plan my prospecting activity ahead of time, have a clear goal and armed with my sales scripts, prospecting does not need to take hours.
At the beginning of the week, I would look at my calendar and block time off just for prospecting.
So, at the beginning of the week, block at sessions of 30-60 minutes each time to contact new prospective clients.
If you invest an hour a day, connecting with prospects on LinkedIn and have a clear goal and call to action.
I guarantee you that you will be filled with prospective clients within one month.
Tips from Melinda:How many hours should an entrepreneur spend on prospecting?
If you just started your business and are trying to build your prospect list, spend at least one hour per day to prospect over the phone and another hour online via email or social media.
If you have been in business for 2 – 5 years and already built up a good list of prospective clients, you might only need to spend one to 3 hours each week on prospecting.
Sales Prospecting Tip #5: Have a template or a script
Do you spend hours trying to write that perfect email?
Do you go to networking events and feel tongue-tied when speaking with your perfect prospect?
Having a carefully crafted email template and sales script will save you time and allow you to sell more in less time.
It will also give you the confidence to sell more naturally.
Need ideas for your scripts? Download our Word-for-World Sales Scripts
Sales Prospecting Tip #6: Start your morning by calling your prospects first
First thing in the morning, most people would turn on their emails and start looking through the emails they received overnight. The problem with this habit is that you stop yourself from doing the real money-making activity for your business – prospecting.
Instead, try to start your morning by calling your prospects first.
Research has shown that “second” best time to reach your prospective clients is between 8 AM and 9 AM.
Need more inspirations to cold call with confidence? Check out our blog 8 Simple Hacks to Help You Start Cold Calling Your Prospects with Confidence.
Tips from Melinda:What is the best time to call a prospective client?
Best time to call a prospective client is between 4 PM to 5 PM. Best days to make contact is Wednesday and Thursday. Take a look at the Infographic published by Insidesales.com
Sales Prospecting Tip #7: Enjoy the process
As an entrepreneur, you will always need to prospect and find new clients.
So, you want to enjoy what you’re doing.
This is the only way to keep going day after day, month after month.
As I mentioned, I have sold for 15 years and in different industries, here is the good news.
There are many ways to get in front of your prospects.
Social Selling: You can use LinkedIn to discover leads, build connecting in groups and get in front of your ideal clients.
Networking: You could participate in local networking events to get in front of your prospective clients.
Speaking events: You can host events or speak at events to demonstrate your authority and get clients like this.
If you are able to find a prospecting activity that you truly enjoy, you are more likely to stay consistent and be enthusiastic about your prospecting efforts.
Sales Prospecting Tip #8: Leverage the technology
Things have changed since I first started selling 15 years ago.
Back then, we relied heavily on cold calling and mailing because we did not have technology as our best friend.
Now, there are many sales technologies to help us sell better in less time.
Google Alert is a great tool to make sure you are up to date on important news. By setting up alerts on certain keywords, Google will constantly inform you when there is important news.
Many CRM, including Hubspot Sales, allows you to save email templates and let you know when your prospects engage with your emails.
Many people use LinkedIn to connect with their prospective clients. LinkedIn is also an amazing tool for sales intelligence.
Sales Prospecting Tip #9: Have a reasonable expectation
You are building an empire. You are building a business that is going to give you the freedom you always desire in your life.
Just like anything in life, building an empire takes time, especially one that is just as amazing as yours.
So, have a reasonable expectation and realistic expectation of your prospecting activities.
If you want to use networking events to get leads, you need to know that it takes more than a few events to connect with people in the networking groups.
It is the same thing when you are connecting with people on LinkedIn.
If you connect with someone on LinkedIn, try to understand that it takes more than 2, 3 or even 4 contacts to build the trust with your prospects.
Having a reasonable expectation will also make sure you do not give you up too early.
Remember what Thomas Edison said…
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.”
Are you ready to supercharge your sales?
Let me know how it goes.
To your big sales,