How many times has a salesperson approached you and tried to sell you something? On a daily basis, we are inundated with advertisements, emails, newsletters, direct mail and phone calls from people trying to sell us on their products and services – but how often do you actually end up buying something?
Probably not that often. This is because the information sellers provide typically focuses on themselves and is irrelevant to you.
You and your prospects have this in common. They too are overloaded with daily sales messages that they mostly overlook because of irrelevance and because they have no personal connection to the person sending them.
Your prospects may be open to working with you, but spamming is definitely not a way to earn their attention and trust. By incorporating these 3 simple steps when first connecting with your prospects, it will help build their trust, guide them through the sales funnel faster, and if they’re a fit for your offering, it will most likely result in a sale:
1. Keep them engaged
This is where social selling will come into play. Do your homework prior to the connection and really try to understand your prospect’s industry, as well as their interests and needs. Look at their:
- Work history
- Company’s social media posts
- Individual social media posts
Also, find out what sparks their interest, by checking out their activity on:
- Their personal blog, if they have one
Once you’ve completed your snooping you will have a better idea of how to creatively approach them, whether that means: sharing industry news, congratulating them on a recent promotion and/or sharing an inspiring article or relevant blog post. Whichever you choose, your prospect will appreciate you for your thoughtfulness and will begin to see you as a trusted source. Once you’ve become a trusted source, they will be more open to a phone call.
2. Ask relevant questions
You’ve got them to agree to a phone call. Now what?
You’ve perfected your approach for the initial connection; now it’s time to perfect the initial meeting/call. The key here is to get your prospects to open up. Make sure you have probing questions prepared beforehand that will encourage them to uncover all of their needs and pain points. This will give them a chance to articulate the kind of impact your product or service could offer them.
As for the questions, here are a few examples:
- What are you looking to improve on?
- How much of a priority is it?
- Do you have the budget to solve it?
- Who needs to be involved in order to solve the problem?
3. Inspire the buyer
Now you have a good idea of what your prospect is looking to accomplish. It’s time to inspire them so they end up selling themselves on your solution.
The first thing you should do is explain your product/service as clear and simple as possible. Simplicity is key here because it will help your customers “get it.” Whereas, if it is too complex, they will probably think it is a waste of time.
Then present ideas and share customer stories with similar needs. This will at least grab their attention and get their wheels turning. This is also a good time to share eBooks – or other educational marketing content your team has – and client case studies related to this prospect’s priorities.
Finally, give the prospect a chance to evaluate and test out your solution for themselves with a trial or pilot. This way they are able to have a more hands-on experience and see just how beneficial your product actually is. Make sure to offer them tips and any help your can offer along the way so they see tremendous results during the trial period. This will obviously give you a better chance of motivating your prospect to take action after they test your solution.
When you are reaching out to new contacts, remember to keep these simple tips in mind to help them buy. Don’t sell to your prospects – engage, ask and inspire!