Last week, we shared 6 strategies to connect with busy decision makers.
These insights were revealed during a recent webinar that included a panel of four senior executives from a range of industries.
Here are six more prospecting strategies to consider when selling to key prospects.
Strategy #1 – Be Patient
Buying decisions take time especially in today’s complex business world. Gone are the days of quick buying decisions or short sales cycles. Decision makers are exceptionally busy and more people are usually involved which means the buying process is much slower and drawn out than it used to be.
Strategy #2 – Understand their Buying Cycles
Most companies have buying cycles that align with their budget cycles. If you approach a company too soon or too late it will be difficult to engage your prospect in a conversation. This can be challenging information to uncover so you might have to do a bit more digging and research before you call but that extra effort can prevent you from wasting time and increase your credibility when you contact your prospect.
Part of your planning should also include when they start budgeting for the following year. Depending on the size of the company, this can range from one-and-a-half to four months. Your goal is to open a conversation with your prospect at the beginning of the budgeting process. If you miss that opening, it is highly possible that you will have to wait another year for that particular sales opportunity.
Strategy #3 – Be Prepared
You can no longer afford to wing-it during a sales call and every panelist declared their frustration with sales people who are not prepared.
Preparation includes everything from knowing the prospect’s name, what their company does and who their customers are, to anticipating objections, concerns, and questions. Know exactly what your key objective is and what questions you need to ask to determine if an actual sales opportunity exists.
Strategy #4 – Avoid Clichés
If you open a prospecting call with something like, “We’re the best at…” or “We have a proven method of…” you will immediately lose your prospect’s attention. Every panelist said that all companies execute the basics and there are very few differentiating factors between competitors.
That means you need to know what makes you different than your competition and you must be able to state this intelligently and articulately.
Strategy #5 – Get the Details Right
Our panelists said that one of the fastest ways to lose credibility is to screw up little details such as the prospect company’s name. One panelist works for Home Hardware (a large Canadian retailer) and he told us that many sales people inadvertently say, “Home Depot” (a major competitor) when they call him.
Details also include knowing the person’s name and spelling it correctly in correspondence. There can be a big different in calling someone “Mike” when they prefer “Michael.”
This may sound like a trivial point but look at it from their perspective…if you can’t get their name right during an important prospecting call (first impression), what else won’t you get right if they move forward with your solution?
Strategy #6 – Develop Trust
Everything you say and do either develops trust or detracts from it. All of our panelists stated that the best way to earn their trust is to be earnest, honest and sincere. Believe it or not, they know when you are not being genuine.
There are no easy answers or quick-fix solutions to prospect. It still requires hard work, effort, energy and discipline. However, when you implement these strategies you will stand out from your completion and connect with more key decision makers.
If you weren’t able to attend the webinar, you can download a MP3 version of it here.
Teneo Results helps sales teams consistently achieve year-over-year sales growth. Contact us to discuss how we can help you and your company exceed your sales targets. 1-519-863-3975.
Receive a FREE copy of 5 Strategies to Transform Your Team here.