When you think of sales prospecting, the first thing that pops into your head may be searching for gold. And while we’re not operating in the Old West, the way miners went out seeking gold is actually somewhat similar to modern-day sales and client prospecting. The concept of prospecting clients for sales basically means focusing on locating hot leads and then guiding them through your sales funnel. These “hot leads” are the people who are mostly likely to complete a purchase. In other words, finding them is like striking gold.
If you’re ready to strike it rich yourself, it’s a good idea to get started prospecting for sales using the most tried and true client prospecting techniques and best practices available today.
Client Prospecting Methods You Should Be Using
Method #1 – Phone Calls
According to recent information as reported in this white paper by Rain Group, calling existing clients has a 51% success rate in generating more sales prospects. Similarly, calling former clients has a 37% success rate. Either way, picking up the phone to reach out to people who have already made a purchase from your company is proven to work.
Warm calling can also help with your company’s research. By monitoring and analyzing phone conversations, your marketing team can learn more about your customers. Gathering customer insights will help you address pain points and adjust your sales prospecting methods to better suit your target audience.
Method #2 – Emails
While warm calling is recommended over cold calling for client prospecting, sending cold emails is another story entirely. As an effective sales prospecting method, cold emails (to people who have opted-in to your email list, of course) are better utilized to warm leads up to your company.
After you have sent out the first email in an attempt to learn more about your new potential lead, you can begin sending warm email campaigns that nurture the lead by offering a solution to that specific person’s needs and pain points.
Method #3 – Client Prospecting Online
If you are looking for a goldmine of potential prospects, turn to your favorite social media platforms and blogging sites. LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B businesses to practice sales prospecting, and Instagram and Facebook groups can be highly beneficial for B2C companies.
You can also try using Quora, Reddit and other forum sites that allow you to respond to questions in your industry or niche. Doing this will not only boost your online brand presence, but it also helps establish your business as a thought leader in your industry. People searching for answers to specific questions will begin to turn to your company for reliable answers, building brand trust and loyalty. Both are crucial to prospecting clients.
Method #4 – Attending Events
Whether it’s a conference, a tradeshow or an online summit, making appearances at large, professional gatherings is the perfect way to prospect for clients. Organized gatherings occur every day — both online and in-person — and they cover just about every topic, niche or industry. Your job is to find out which events your target audience is attending and be there. These days, it’s probably best to attend virtually, due to the ongoing pandemic.
For this sales prospecting method, networking is key. When you’re going to be attending a digital event, try to introduce yourself to as many other attendees as possible. Be sure to reach out to other businesses for networking purposes and find out if you can provide them with any useful services or products. Join any followup groups or forums on social media whenever available, and be sure to follow event hashtags to find out who else is engaging with the event.
What Is Prospecting In Sales?
Sales prospecting is not selling! This is an important distinction to keep in mind. However, sales prospecting and client prospecting are vital to both marketers and sales teams because the main focus is to find potential leads and get them into your sales funnel.
Once the leads are in your pipeline, the marketing team can take over and gently guide them through the funnel. When the qualified leads get close to the end, the sales team can step in and secure the final sale.