The best sales prospecting methods involve many steps, different avenues, and is spread out over a period of time. It is not a one time event and it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It is the product of perseverance, hard work, and practice.
Sales prospecting is not an event, it’s a process. ~ Tweet This!
Today we are going to focus on what avenues or mediums are available to you as a sales person prospecting in your territory. Whether you are new or established in your industry, these methods of sales prospecting will help you to fill your pipeline and be known as an expert in your field.
And as mentioned in my TREAT sales prospecting method, it’s important to mix it up every once in a while when you are touching base with a potential new customer.
As much as they enjoy receiving 30 voice mails from you (I’ve done that before), they are much more likely to respond if you approach them in different ways from different angles.
So today I’d like to present to you my first ever infographic. Just like when building SlideShares, I had a lot of fun designing this infographic. I used a free site www.easel.ly which I have known about for a while but never really utilized.
For whatever reason tonight I got the itch and went to town on developing this infographic showcasing the most popular sales prospecting methods I have personally used as a sales pro.
If you’ve already started a blog to improve your professional brand I highly recommend using infographics in your arsenal. This was my first but I plan on making many more. In addition to easel.ly there is another site called visual.ly which you may want to look at. I have yet to use it but have heard great things about it.
Until then I hope you enjoy the one I’ve designed below. Feel free to share this with your network. Or even embed it on your own site if you’d like. I know Pinterest would love to have you pin this if you feel the urge.
Use This Graphic For Free On Your Site!
You are welcome to use this infographic on your site, however the license I grant you requires that you properly and correctly attribute the work to The Sales Pro Blog with a link back to the site using the below embed code.
<div><center><a href=”http://www.salesproblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Best-Sales-Propsecting-Methods-salesproblog-image.jpg” ><img alt=”Best Sales Prospecting Methods” title=”Best Sales Prospecting Methods” src=”http://www.salesproblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/best_prospecting_methods.jpg” /></a><p>Infographic authored by <a title=”The Sales Pro Blog” href=”http://www.salesproblog.com” target=”_blank”>The Sales Pro Blog</a>.</p></center></div>
Best Sales Prospecting Methods
As I’ve mentioned, there is more than one way to prospect for sales leads. Mix up your method and see what works best for your style, industry, and prospects.
Cold calling is the #1 sales prospecting method and a staple of the sales profession.
Pick up the phone and dial. Just do IT!
Most often a sales person is provided with a list of contacts or accounts to call on and they are thrown to the wolves.
If you need help with cold calling check out my previous post Cold Calling Like A Sales Pro. It will give you some great tips on how to cold call on your prospects.
Getting a referral is one of the most effective forms of sales prospecting. Warm leads, social proof, direct contact to a decision maker; what more could you ask for.
If you need help understanding how to get referrals be sure to check out my previous post How To Exponentially Build Your Business Through Referrals.
Content marketing is the new SEO.
It’s also a great prospecting method defined in The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes.
By providing valuable and educational information to your customers you create a level of trust that your competitors aren’t building.
Besides a blog, a great way to use content marketing is to create a eBook that you can use as a conference giveaway.
Another staple of the sales profession. Professional networking can involve anything from attending trade show events to keeping in touch with past colleagues.
Networking, like sales prospecting, is a process and not an event.
It takes time to develop a network, especially if you’re new to the working world or still trying to establish yourself in your industry.
If you need some initial guidance on networking be sure to check out The Where And How Of Sales Networking.
Email marketing has taken the place of direct mail marketing for most salespeople.
The reason I didn’t include direct mail marketing is because it is not something most sales people participate in anymore. Some companies and industries do, however it’s effectiveness has diminished since email marketing came into the picture.
Email is free, fast, and available to most anyone. As they say, “The money is in the list.”
Webinars are a new option for the average sales person. With more and more territory reps in the field, away from a home office, webinars or web-seminars just make sense.
Like seminars they are another form of content marketing, especially if you record the sessions and offer them free to your prospects.
Seminars are the live version of a webinar. As a 30 something I am more familiar and have attended more webinars than I have seminars but know they are still a valuable medium for sales prospecting.
They are like content marketing and networking mixed into one.
But if you are taking time away from prospects be sure to have a LOT of value to give them. Nothing will hurt you more than providing little value during a seminar.
Social networking refers to using sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Twitter, Pinterest, Squidoo, etc. in your everyday sales prospecting activities.
The main aspect to focus on with social networking is ENGAGEMENT.
I recommend focusing on a few social networks at a time and build your audience and profiles from there as needed. Don’t spread yourself too thin and neglect interested parties.
Reply to blog comments, tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn messages, etc.
Social networking is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing.
That’s right! There is still a place for door-to-door sales.
This sales prospecting method is probably despised more than cold calling to some reps. But it can be fun with the right mindset.
If you need an idea of how to make foot prospecting more effective be sure to read The Life Of A Door-To-Door Sales Person.
I questioned this as the last of the best sales prospecting methods. Especially when comparing to direct mail marketing. But the thing is that with sites like Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, LinekedIn ads there is just no competition with direct mail marketing.
You can set a limit to how much you spend and yet be extremely specific in who your ads target.
This is the one form of sales prospecting I personally do not participate in but I know that my company (like most) does.
If you feel it’s necessary and you know what you are doing then by all means enjoy yourself.
What Do You Think?
Are there any other sales prospecting methods that you know about which I should add here? I’d love to hear your comments below.
~ Johnny Bravo