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Sales prospecting tips

 

1. Be confident

  • Don’t worry about mistakes
    • It’s okay if you stumble a couple times or don’t answer every question perfectly. You’re human, which means you’ll occasionally mess up.
  • Remember your motivation
    • Keep your enthusiasm up by periodically reminding yourself why you’re doing this. Set and aim for a goal.

 

2. Warm them up on social media

  • You’ll get a much better reaction if you seem familiar. That’s why you should try to interact with buyers on social media before you call.
  • Request to connect with them on LinkedIn, like and share their posts. By the time you say “This is Bob from NAL,” they’ll know your name.

 

3. Do prospecting in chunks

  • Set aside a block of time each day for making calls. It’s much more efficient to make several outreach calls in a row.
  • Not only are you staying in the prospecting mindset, but you can keep all your materials close at hand.

 

4. Vary your prospecting times

  • That being said, calling a prospect at the same time every time rarely works. If they didn’t pick up in the morning the first two times you tried, they probably won’t pick up the third time.
  • Mix it up to maximize your chances of connecting: Try the morning, mid-afternoon, and early evening.

 

5. Don’t make calls during normal work hours.

  • It might sound counterintuitive, but the best prospecting calls are actually made before 9 a.m., after 5 p.m., and during the weekend.
  • Why?
    • Your high-level prospects are likely to pick up the phone at odd hours, whereas you’ll usually talk to a gatekeeper if you call during normal business hours.
    • To directly contact decision-making prospects, pick up the phone early in the morning, in the evening, or on Saturday afternoon.

 

6. Script out the first 10 seconds of your call.

  • It sounds simple — and it is. But remarkably few salespeople actually script out what they’re going to say when a prospect answers the phone. Most prospects decide within the first seconds of a call whether they’ll hang up.
  • Don’t leave anything to chance, decide exactly what you’ll say at the start of every single phone sales call.

 

7. Lead with common challenges.

  • You finally got a prospect on the line, effectively introduced yourself, and engaged them. Now what? At this point in the call it’s time to lead the conversation by talking about a common challenge the prospect will relate to.

 

8. You have two ears & one mouth for a reason, ask questions.

  • One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make on the phone is this: They don’t ask any questions!
  • While it’s great to start off the first 30 seconds of your call with some strong statements to engage the prospect, you should immediately start asking questions after that.

 

9. Be a persistent caller.

  • Sometimes, phone sales just takes a little patience — and a whole lot of persistence. You can’t just call prospects once or twice, leave a couple of voicemails, and then move on.
  • In reality, it could take seven to 10 voicemails before you get a response — even from a prospect who’s likely to be interested.
  • Phone prospecting takes time.

 

10. Leave provocative voicemails.

  • Your ideal prospects are used to getting voicemails that sound stiff, serious, and — quite frankly — boring. By being a little tongue-in-cheek and having some fun with your voicemails, you’re more likely to stand out from the crowd and capture your prospect’s attention.
  • Voicemails that are just a tad provocative are far more likely to wake your prospect up and elicit a response.

 

11. Schedule a meeting on the call.

  • When you’re nearing the end of a prospecting phone call, don’t hang up the phone after making a vague reference to “following up soon.” This is the kiss of death for phone selling. Instead, schedule an exact date and time for your next phone call, and send your prospect an email calendar invite while you’re still on the phone together.

 

12. Stick to your phone commitments.

  • Never miss a scheduled phone sales call with a prospect. This might sound obvious, but far too many salespeople neglect to follow up with their prospects, even if the first phone call went well. Don’t let a massive opportunity slip away just because you were disorganized about your phone strategy.

 

13. Follow up

  • No matter what you do, don’t forget to touch base later that day. The post-call email might be the most important part of the process; you can’t assume you’ll stay top-of-mind without a timely follow up.
  • If you promised to send them some materials, do so now. You should also confirm your next call and any give & get that you both agreed to.

 

Pro Tip

Turn off the enthusiasm

  • Most salespeople have been taught to show lots of enthusiasm on the phone, but that approach will sabotage you right out the gate.
  • Instead of laying it on thick with the enthusiasm, tone it down and try an approach that’s genuine and relatable.
  • Use a soft, quiet voice when you greet the prospect, and you’ll start setting far more meetings.