Prospecting for Sales…How to improve your hit rate?

Here is a between the eyes question….

What is the number one challenge or issue you face when it comes to growing sales for your business?
When I recently reached out to the attendees at my seminar at Leeds Business week and asked that same question, 75% mentioned sales prospecting as their premier challenge.

I don’t think the problem is that companies don’t know what do to; it’s that probably what they’ve always done unfortunately no longer seems to work….I would ask you to recall the last time you met an actual decision maker at a networking event and that conversation led to a sale. How about from a cold call? Exhibition or even an advertisement?

Here are a few thoughts and 3 unorthodox sales prospecting techniques you’ve probably never tried but would be willing to give a go…

Partnering or Alliances

Whoever you’re selling to also has dozens of other services and products being sold to them. A salient example is imagine you are a tax advisor selling to finance directors but accountants also sell to finance directors as do legal firms sell to finance directors. Auditors sell to finance directors…..
However by establishing alliances with others selling different products to the same people you get some major benefits as you both get access to each other’s “circle of trust” – people who know you and love your work and you might find ways to partner on the same sales.

Use Video

Email open rates have plummeted in recent years and they continue to go down (and down). According to recent surveys the average email click-through rate is under 10% which means that if you are sending an offer, blog post, or brochure to 100 prospects, a grand total of about 8 will open it. To put it another way, if you want to get 50 prospects to actually read your stuff, you’d need to send nearly 1000 emails, and risk wasting over 900 people’s time and being marked as spam.
How about a video in that email… need for Steven Spielberg but just you talking to the camera and saying a few words. Educating a little bit. Introducing yourself and pointing to a helpful resource. You may well be surprised how even a simple video will boost opens, the number of people who are engaged with your content, and the number of leads that begin to move down your sales funnel.

Lost customers

Try and think about the last few deals you didn’t get and think about why you didn’t get them. Do you know why? If not, go find out and a one thing will happen…You’ll improve. If you lost to a competitor, use this opportunity to find out what your competitor did better – or differently – to win the deal. Try and arm yourself with all the knowledge you can to ensure your next deal has a different or winning result.

Salespeople quit too quickly. 44 % give up after one follow-up, according to one recent survey and unfortunately, humans are wired to look for immediate results when we take on a new task. Whether it’s getting in shape, saving money, or making prospecting calls, we want to see progress right away. The fact that most sales people give up after 2 attempts and so it is important to remain persistent but not to stalk your customer by calling them on the hour but regular follow up phone calls and contact is good practice.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on sales prospecting if you have any other techniques or suggestions to approach this challenge differently or help needed to prospect then please get in touch.

sales prospecting and cold calling

Sales Prospecting…you are never too old