For salespeople around the world, prospecting is one of the most challenging aspects of the sales process. More than 40% of salespeople say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%). Nevertheless, prospecting is one of the most integral aspects of sales.

With the advent of the internet, prospects are fast becoming more informed about products and services that piques their interest. Due to these changes, customer experience is the key to converting leads and making sales.

Below is a list of tested and proven sales prospecting techniques guaranteed to make you stand out.

  • Sales Prospecting is a Continuous Activity

Sales prospecting is not one cold call or one cold sale email activity. It is a persistent and continuous activity that takes time. You should see your prospect and prospecting as a priority. According to a survey by Topo HQ, it takes approximately 18 calls to truly connect with a buyer.

It is all about putting in time, building a relationship even though the first contact might not result in a positive light. Gradually build a social media following, speak at seminars, become a thought leader, an authority in the subject, because this makes it easy for your prospects to trust you, align with your offering.

Imagine Brian Tracy cold calling you about his latest product- you get the gist now.

  • Research About Your Prospect- Go for Quality over Quantity

As being in control of a high number of leads may sound like great progress, if they aren’t converting to sales/buyers, what is the point? A few high-quality leads who are committed and engaged will trump a multitude of non-committed leads. The key to developing a cycle of quality leads takes time and research.

As a Salesperson, the key to amassing quality leads is dependent on your research. Before you start prospecting, research about your prospect. This will help you weed out the unproductive leads, increase productivity, speed up the completion of your sales cycle, and clear out inefficiencies in your sales pipeline.

  • Build A Solid Presence on LinkedIn

Building a social presence on LinkedIn is one of the best sales prospecting technique. LinkedIn is the meeting place of Fortune 500 CEO’s, Industry Experts, Administrative Heads, and Marketing Aficionados. Taking advantage of the networking opportunity offered by LinkedIn is a great way to build your company brand and reach out to potential prospects out there.

Creating a good LinkedIn profile, sharing captivating contents, joining targeted groups interacting with other members of the community are some of the fastest ways to reach out, track, and convert leads to buyers. Learn to leverage on the activities of your prospects to be able to craft a well-researched sales email and cold call script.

  • Involve the Use of Marketing Automation

Introducing the use of marketing automation tools is an excellent way of facilitating more efficient sales prospecting strategies. Some of these tools include; Constant Contact and Leadsquared.

With the involvement of marketing automation as a prospecting technique or strategy, you can monitor communication strategies that lead to conversion. With a great automation tool, you may be able to find out which email campaigns, cold calls, messages and ads that attract leads and referrals to your offering.

By taking advantage of these information, you can build ideal customer profiles and weed out unproductive leads and strategies.

  • Warm up your cold calls

During prospecting, your initial reach out to your prospect shouldn’t be completely cold. It is of great importance to warm up to your prospect before making the first cold call or sending out a cold sales mail. You can start by finding out about the prospect from social media, LinkedIn, and other interaction network. Also, you can build a relationship with your prospects via their social media post.

By doing this, it gives you an idea for a familiar opening introduction during your first cold call. A good example is, “Hello John, I saw your Facebook post regarding Dieting, and I sincerely loved it. I am calling in regards to XYZ product…”. Most prospect may request for the price, benefits, and how your product works. The key to putting up a great impression during your first cold call or mail is preparation.

  • Become an Authority

Becoming an authority is an important sales prospecting technique. While it may take time to actualize, the reward is quite enormous. You can start a social media page, create a LinkedIn group, get involved in online webinars, organize seminars or speak at your local business events.

Establishing a Social media or LinkedIn Group lets you lead a conversation among colleagues and prospects. You have the chance to answer their questions, learn about their pain points, and share your expertise with them. When they need your products or services, they are more likely to reach out. If done right, you will have a ready audience awaiting the release of your product or subscribers to your latest service.

  • Request for Referrals Subtly

Referrals are a powerful sales prospecting technique to win future sales and make your brand stand out. Prospects all over the world are likely to purchase from a prospector with social proof. Start by requesting for referrals, a video testimonial, and reviews from customers you have built a solid relationship. Remember social proofs are an integral aspect of prospecting because it increases your prospects trust about your service.

Note the keyword ‘subtly’. A satisfied customer will be more willing to refer your service and product to their friends and colleagues than an unsatisfied client. As a salesperson, your goal should be to satisfy your prospect needs and not just to sell your product. In so doing, your clients will be willing to refer your products, leave a great review, video testimonial about your product or service.