Prospecting and qualifying prospects
What does your ideal buyer or seller look like? Before you can commence any prospecting, you need to define what your ideal buyer or seller looks like, and have a good understanding of their needs. This will ensure you are not wasting your time on unqualified leads.
Six questions to ask when qualifying prospects:
- Are they serious and aware of their need
- Have they the authority and ability to buy or commit
- Is there a sense of urgency (or just looking)
- Do they trust me and my company
- Are they willing to listen and take advice
- Can we add value here
Cold calling (emails and phone) is less effective today. It’s much better if the sales person can warm up a lead (even if just a little) before they connect with them.
Lukewarm helps; this may be by getting introduced by a common contact or acquaintance. Connecting over a news piece or article shared on their website or via social media. Find an excuse to connect (and hopefully help them).
Sales referrals are one of the best ways to generate high-quality leads.
These are great at establishing trust. It’s important to take a proactive approach to gaining sales referrals as little comes from not asking.
If your client is happy with your service, then they are likely to give you a referral …it’s just a matter of “asking”. Have this question as part of your relationship follow-up.
When networking, identify key people that can help with recommendations and referrals. It pays to work the room, make new connections and ascertain how you might add value and connect.
Use Social Media
Every salesperson should have their own Social Media accounts, with networks and an engaged audience, be this on; LinkedIn, FaceBook or the likes. These are great platforms for publishing useful and engaging content so you get to be seen, and be acknowledged as a creditable contributor and a person of value. Ensure you have a great profile, then connect with potential clients by joining groups, liking and commenting on relevant posts. This will help provide some “warm leads”.
Enhance your profile
Develop a “pull-strategy” by investing time and energy on improving your profile as a likeable, trusted subject expert and professional in the marketplace.
This can be enhanced by sharing relevant research with clients and prospects, publishing on key websites, blogs and in Social Media. Taking the opportunity to speak at or sponsor local business events.
Show how you can “add value” and then work with the potential prospect so you can quickly qualify whether they should be on your database.
This is an ongoing process; and best if performed routinely. For any sales person, it’s important to fill the pipeline with highly qualified prospects in order to be successful.
Implementation is often the biggest hurdle as we all get busy doing the day to day work that rolls in. Schedule time to work on your prospects list so the pipeline is continually being fed.
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