Prospecting Best Practices: 10 Strategies to Consider Before You Make a Pitch
Knowing what to say and how to say it makes a difference when making sales calls. Here are ways to add value to a prospect before making your pitch.
Veteran sales agents can confirm that there’s no magic formula to making the perfect sales call. Successful sales calls focus on providing value to the prospect by addressing their pain points. Before you make a call, focus on identifying the prospects’ needs and coming up with ways to meet them. This avoids surprises during your sales call as you’ve already created alignment between the prospect’s needs and your product solution.
Prospecting best practices involves coming up with ways to attract and retain your prospect’s attention. Here are 10 ways to add value to a prospect before you try to pitch to them:
Greet them warmly
Many prospects do not highly regard sales calls and may tune out when they realize you’re trying to sell them something. As a sales agent, you need to greet your prospects warmly to grab their attention in the first few seconds. Include the prospect’s name in the greetings as a way to acknowledge them. This creates a sense of respect and familiarity, granting you the prospect’s interests and attention.
Consider using greetings that spark interest for instance “how have you been” as opposed to “how are you.” “How have you been” breaks a pattern and the prospect will likely take some time to think if they have met you before.
Mention the research you’ve done about their company
Use personalization by mentioning the prospect’s company name to keep their attention. They will be less likely to end the call if you show that you’re interested in their firm and have spent some time researching them.
During your sales pitch, make statements like, “My study shows that your company has been ...” Focusing on their company demonstrates that you’re not only interested in selling but also in providing value.
Drop the name of a mutual connection
Bringing up a mutual connection is a great way to gain credibility. Your prospect will be curious about how you know the mutual contact and why they needed your product or service.
Here’s how you could drop the name of the mutual connection: “One of my clients working at (company name), mentioned that you’re searching for...”
Reference a company contact
Introducing a coworker is much better than a mutual connection and demonstrates to the prospect they need to take you seriously. It can spark their interest and give them a reason to pay attention to avoid missing out. Here’s an illustration of how you can introduce your contact:
“I was speaking to your company’s product manager, and he said that you’re now focusing on niche marketing. I can …"
Use information from their LinkedIn profile
Go through your prospect’s LinkedIn profile for valuable information that shows you’re interested in having a real conversation with them. Referencing their page and goals shows that you’re discussing something that’s of value to them personally and not just trying to sell products. This will make the prospect more interested in what you have to say.
Reference a competitor
Dop the name of a competitor and suggest they’re interested in your company or product. This can make your prospect pay attention and take more interest in your pitch because they naturally want to gain the upper hand over their rivals. Below is an example of how to introduce the competitor.
“We’ve just worked with (competitor) and attained great results. Have you got five minutes to discuss how your company can achieve the same?”
Bring up pain points
Identify your prospect’s pain points and bring them up in your sales pitch. Your prospect should be well aware of these pain points and focused on solving them. Creating an introduction like this can be effective:
“We’ve been working with different companies in your industry, and they’ve been experiencing three main problems. I wonder if you have the same concerns.”
The statement can spark your prospects’ interest as they wonder what these problems are and how you can help solve them. This buys you more time to introduce your service or product.
Don't be afraid to engage in small talk
Small talk is a perfect way to build rapport with your prospect. Take time to do your research so you can sound as authentic as possible. Find common ground between you and your prospect and progress with the conversation from there.
Don’t forget to be conscious of your prospect’s time as much as possible during small talk. Going off topic too much may make them wonder exactly why you called. And if they think you’re just wasting their time, they aren’t likely to show much interest in building a relationship.
Reference topics brought up in their marketing materials
Reading and referencing your prospect’s marketing materials shows that you have a genuine interest in their firm. It also demonstrates that you understand them well enough to be helpful. You could use phrases such as:
“I read your Facebook post the other day and …”
“When reading your company blog, I realized that….”
These phrases indicate to your prospect that you’ve done your homework. Showing genuine interest in their company often results in reciprocity, so they also demonstrate an interest in what you have to say.
Avoid the traditional close
How you close your sales call is the key to converting prospects into customers. Using phrases such as “I’ll circle back later” or “hope we can talk soon” are safe ways to end the conversation but they rarely inspire your prospect to take action.
Instead, end your calls with phrases that prompt further conversation in the future. You can ask a question for instance “Next time we talk, I’d love to show you (x). How about Monday?” This creates room for follow-up and a chance to sell to the prospect.
Implement prospecting best practices today
If you want to improve your company’s sales, you need to implement these prospecting best practices. Focus on adding value to your prospect before making your pitch for successful sales calls. And if you need a little help getting started, MetaGrowth is just a click away.
Our experts can train your staff to take their prospecting to the next level and convert more leads into loyal customers. Contact us today to learn how we can help you build the world-class sales team you’ve always dreamed of.