There once was an annual fireworks show in San Diego that encountered a majormalfunction. All 7,000 fireworks blew off at once, with the ‘show’ ending in less than a minute.
Often times, sales reps light all their fireworks at once, too. Without investing time and energy in researching or engaging their audience, salespeople unleash an arsenal of ambiguous noise about their company, their products, and themselves.
You hear it in their 80-second voicemail messages. They do it in online presentations, while you have the mute button on. It’s spelled out in their three-paragraph emails. You see and smell it from a mile away.
And when fireworks like that are over, you just roll-up your blanket, pack your bag and head home. Maybe the next show will include space between each explosion, allowing you time to adore, process, and absorb the value.
It takes minutes of your time, but leaves a lasting impression on the recipient. It also demonstrates that you’re mindful of others and on top of your game. A handwritten thank you note makes everyone feel good.
TIP #7 is the most important: To practice CANI! It’s an acronym for Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.
Work On Your SELF Harder than You Work on Your Job
The Japanese word for this exercise is kaizen; it’s called Six Sigma at successful companies like GE; and in life, it’s simply modeling the best at your craft, achieving small goals each day, and measuring your progress along the way.
If you plan to bolster your sales career, and you’ve decided that THIS is your profession, then you must aspire to master it.
Awaken the student within you. Absorb as much information as you can. You have the same amount of time each day as the greatest minds — take advantage of it.
What Were the Last Five Books You Read? The Last Two?
Were they books about sales, sales management, business processes, or personal development? Attitude, creativity, execution, and all that encompasses sales?
When You’re Not Training, Your Competitors Are
And when you ARE training, your competitors are. Build your sweat equity, so that you can differentiate yourself. Commit to CANI! — to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.
Record a podcast and have your best customer join you on an episode
Tweet (and retweet) powerful articles, videos, or status updates
Jamie Shanks and Steve Richard, shown below, demonstrate these examples well. Google them and you’ll see.
TIP #6 is to make rapid-fire calls. If your organization manages a large volume of inbound leads, you no longer need to manually dial them all. Technologies offered by ConnectAndSell, ConnectLeader, InsideSales.com, and others manage the dialing for you.
There’s a scene in the film The Pursuit of Happynesswhere homeless stockbroker, Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) finds a way to get through large lists of phone numbers — he never hangs up the phone!
He also calls CEOs and gets right through the gatekeeper. Watch…
The days of crossing out names on a call list are over. Check out one of the aforementioned solutions. Note that you still need to research before calling. You should also sort by title, industry, event, etc. which drives a consistent talk track.
Part 3 will follow, but no need to wait. Nothing should stop you from applying these tips today.
The term “cold calling” is real. It exists. It’s completely preventable, though. If you are looking to engage prospects for your business, connect with valuable, relevant reasons. Applying these 7 tactics to your prospecting efforts can help. When done right, and done consistently, you will eliminate the term “cold calling” from your vocabulary.
TIP #1is to automate your outreach. Mail programs likeMicrosoft OutlookandBoomerangallow users to send messages whenever they’d like. If you’re a user ofHotmailorYahoo!check out LetterMeLater.For example, you’re going through your inbox at 2:37am and want to respond to your prospect’s message. When they awake later that morning, your message will get deleted with the spam (89% of their messages) that also arrived in the wee hours.
Instead, your message could arrive at 7am, or on a weekend afternoon, when they’ll likely READ the email.
If they, instead, used an intelligence offering likeInsideView, key insights would get pushed to them via email orright within their CRM. And the email would contain the essentials: leadership changes, new product offerings, earnings, expanding operations, etc. Try out InsideView’sfree offeringhere.
Parts 2 & 3 of this article will follow. In the meantime, work smart by putting these three tips into practice.
PROSPECTING NINJAS ACCOMPLISH THESE FEATS BASED ON INSIGHTS
Salespeople that have insights on their prospects have an advantage. According to Craig Elias, the creator of Trigger Event Selling, insights from company and people alerts see a 24%-32% lift in response rates.
Insights and intelligence must come from thorough (but smart) research. InsideView harvests critical insights on companies, buyers, connections, and industries, to name a few.
Once you gain insights on… Make sure to also uncover…
The company How did it perform last year? The last 5 years?
The buyer(s) What recent purchases did the company make? How?
Your connections Do you or does a colleague already know the prospect?
The industry What challenges does it face? What trends does it experience?
Jill makes The Buyer’s Matrix available online and in her most recent book, SNAP Selling, to guide salespeople through the buying process. You can download The Buyer’s Matrix here: http://bit.ly/how-to-prospect.
PROSPECTING NINJAS USE TRIGGER EVENTS
Trigger events are internal or external changes that influence an organization’s priorities. When trigger events occur, and you’re aware of them, they can bring forth big opportunities for you. Jill unveiled some common trigger events, and highlighted what InsideView calls “smart agents:”
Trigger events…Uncover “tells”…Leadership changesNew decision maker might mean new strategy & new prioritiesEarnings resultsPoor earnings might create opportunity for your offeringCompetitive movesCompanies don’t like to be beat by their competitorsNew strategic initiativesInitiatives often come with urgency that could expedite buying cycles
NINJAS USE A FORMULA
When the rubber meets the road, prospectors must engage with relevance. This means that messaging must be right on point — whether done via email, voicemail, by phone, or in person. A study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business uncovered that 92% of prospects do not answer their phones or emails.
PROSPECTING NINJAS SEND KILLER MESSAGES
Using newly-captured insights, and knowing the right person to contact, ninjas:
And guess what? Prospecting ninjas get responses to their messages!
NINJAS DON’T QUIT
The business world constantly changes, often by the hour. Unless you keep your finger on the pulse – by monitoring insights, leveraging connections, and watching for trigger events – the prospecting ninjas will leave you behind.