- Develop prospecting objectives.
Your situation, industry, product, and prospects are unique, so set objectives that match your specific objectives. For complex product/service sales, focus on setting an appointment with a qualified decision-maker and then gathering information. For low-risk product/service sales, aim to close the sale as the primary objective and collect information secondarily.
- Set an appointment with prospects you have already pre-qualified as potential buyers. First, make a list of pre-qualified prospects. Then, schedule appointments with these prospects, ensuring the date, time, and place are convenient for both parties and noted on both your and the prospect's calendar.
- Gather information with prospects you haven't qualified. Start by identifying prospects for which you have incomplete or no data. Then, collect as much information as possible on these prospects to determine their potential and to understand their buying windows.
- Qualify prospects. First, create a profile of your ideal customer based on insights from sales managers or successful reps. If you're a small business or startup, analyze your product/service strengths and weaknesses to develop this profile. Second, identify the characteristics of your most profitable and satisfied customers who are likely to do business with you. Third, come up with qualifying questions to identify the best opportunities based on your ideal customer profile. Fourth, compare every prospect, deal, and customer against this profile. And finally, have the discipline to walk away if they don't fit the profile.
- Close the sale.
When you're talking to prospects on the phone, try to address any initial hesitation or objections quickly. Ask a couple of questions to assess the opportunity, and if it seems promising, secure an appointment to dive deeper into their needs, discuss solutions, and ultimately close the sale.
- Establish familiarity.
Create a strategic prospecting campaign that uses different channels like phone calls, emails, social media, targeted trade shows, and industry conferences. The goal is to establish enough familiarity with prospects so that they're more likely to engage with you and consider your offerings.
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