If you really want to be a successful prospector, here are 5 keys I've learned from running my own businesses first hand. However, first you have to really understand the sales process.
Targeting is the foundation that underpins sales prospecting. Success is the strength of your list and the precision of your targeting. Make sure you add value in every touch with the right offer.
Leads: One who becomes aware of your business or someone you decide to pursue for a sale, even if they don’t know about you yet.
Prospects: Someone who has had some kind of contact with your business and is still interested. All prospects are leads, but not all leads are prospects.
Customers: People who have made a purchase! There are 3 types of people in the sales process:
Build a Sales Funnel such as:
• Create awareness
• Educate your prospects
• Allow prospects to evaluate product/service
• Engage with prospects and close the deal
• Customers make the purchase!
• Turn Leads into Prospects and Prospects into Customers!
Step One: Awareness
The first step of any sales funnel is to raise awareness of your existence to potential customers. You can raise awareness in several ways including but not limited to:
• Social Media Marketing
• Email Marketing
• Cold Calling
• Attending Events/Networking
• Word of Mouth
Big picture: Be where your ideal customers are and you will get noticed!
Step Two: Education
The second step of a successful sales funnel is to educate your prospects. Teach your prospects why they need your service, how it works, and what sets you apart.
• Find common connections between you and your potential customer
• Treat them as you would a friend, instead of aggressively pushing the sale
• Show your prospects examples of how the platform works
• Show ease-of-use of the built-in tools
Big Picture: Prepare, explain, demonstrate, and build trust
Step Three: Evaluation
Step three in a successful sales funnel is allowing the prospect to evaluate what you’re offering. Allow your prospects some time to themselves to consider your service and arm them with:
• An open invitation to contact you with any additional questions
• Compelling physical and/or digital materials for them to review as they consider
• Endorsements and praise of current customers once you’ve built up your business.
Big Picture: Give prospects space and remember that they may check your digital activity at any time.
Step Four: Engagement
Step four in a successful sales funnel is to simply ask for the sale. Your prospect has had time to evaluate, and now is it time to ask for the sale and sweeten the deal if need be.
Many prospects get stuck in this part of the funnel – nudge them closer to making a sale without being too pushy. Don’t give up! You may need to contact a prospect several times before making a sale. If your prospect needs an added incentive to make the purchase, make a limited time offer.
Big Picture: Ask nicely, sweeten the deal, and make the sale.
Step Five: Purchase
Congratulations! You’ve made the sale. Celebrate and leverage your new customer. Don’t stop there, Make your new customer a loyal fan to help you to create more awareness by:
• Nurturing your new customer and making sure their expectations are exceeded.
• Asking that they endorse/review you on their preferred social channels.
• Asking to use a quote about their positive experience with you for your marketing efforts to new leads and prospects.
• Asking that they refer new businesses to you.
• Sharing positive feedback on your social channels.
Big Picture: Word of mouth is integral to finding new leads for the awareness part of the sales funnel