Sales Prospecting Techniques

Sales prospecting is a crucial part of telemarketing and it is arguably the most important part. The saying goes ‘you are only as good as your phone list’ and it is true. Being able to effectively generate sales prospects will be a determining factor in your telemarketing success. 

Types of Sales Prospecting Methods

The 5 types of sales prospecting methods are as follow:
  • Inbound prospecting 
    • This type of sales prospecting is when a caller makes a call to the agent to learn more about the product or purchase. 
  • Social media outreach 
    • This type of sales prospecting is when agents communicate with prospects through company social media platforms in order to produce interest or a sale.
  • Referrals 
    • This type of sales prospecting is when agents ask call recipients or customers for referrals of anyone they know who might be interested in the product or service. 
  • Networking
    • This type of sales prospecting is when agents use the company’s connections or customer connections to produce interest or sales.
  • Outbound prospecting
    • This type of sales prospecting is when agents make cold and warm calls to produce interest or sales.

How to Prospect: 8 Sales Prospecting Techniques

Generate prospects with techniques that actually work! Here are eight of the most effective ways to generate sales prospects. 

  1. Create Ideal Customer Prospect Profiles

  2. To create your ideal customer prospect profiles you must know your current customers very well. Knowing who they are will help tremendously in identifying the target audience your product or service appeals to. Start by asking questions like: 

    • What is the ideal customer age range?
    • What is the ideal customer geographical location?
    • What is the ideal customer income range?
    • How do our ideal customers hear about the company or product?
    • What industry or job role do the ideal customers have?

    The questions will vary depending on your product and will vary depending on what information is most useful to you. Having this information will help narrow down your list of prospects to target and will maximize your time spent on the phone with these prospects. 

  3. Make Cold Calls 

  4. Why cold calling works
    • The company makes a personal connection with the prospect.
    • The average person is exposed to up to 10,000 advertisements a day, yet a phone call makes a more lasting impression.
    • Agents can answer questions and concerns in real time. 
    • It helps build a competitive advantage over the competitors. 

    Making that human-to-human connection is something advertisements on social media and TV can’t accomplish. There are many other reasons to make cold calls, but it essentially boils down to the fact that it is still a highly effective tool for generating prospects and generating sales.

  5. Warm-Up Your Cold Calls 

  6. It’s not a secret that people are timid to cold call. Not knowing who you’re calling or whether or not they are interested can mean getting lots of rejections and not-so-pleasant feedback. That is why warming up your cold calls can help you avoid this. 

    You can warm up a cold call in a number of ways: 
    • Look up the prospect on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook)
    • Focus on selling the benefits of the product 
    • Ask questions that will give you more information about the person, or what they are looking for in a product
    • Sell to their interest (once you have identified their interest through questions)
    • Find common interest with the call recipient
    • Give personal testimony to how the product has helped you or others that you have sold to
  7. Don’t Sell but Develop Relationships

  8. Keep in mind that most sales don’t happen until after the 5th call made to that call recipient. So, during the first few calls focus more on building that trust and relationship. Creating such connections not only increases the chance for a sale but also increases the chances of the call recipient generating positive word-of-mouth advertising. 

    Developing relationships isn’t rocket science. It simply consists of:
    • Being on time for all calls and meetings 
    • Being honest 
    • Acknowledging the prospects need in a product or service
    • Understanding what they value in a company
    • Being consistent 
    • Not pressuring a sale
  9. Avoid This Mistake

  10. You are wanting to add something of value to their life, so don’t make it sound like your call is an inconvenience or not valuable. Saying something like ‘Did I catch you at a bad time?’ or ‘Do you have a moment to speak about [the product]?’ will devalue your purpose of the call. Instead, speak with confidence and believe in your products’ worth. Prospects are way more likely to buy from you if you remember that you are offering something beneficial for them. 

  11. Keep Them On The Line

  12. Once you’ve got the prospect of the phone, you’ve got to hold their attention. Ask questions and share important benefits of the product that will spark a conversation. By getting them to stay on the line, you are increasing the chances of a sale, and if not a sale, at least you are building the relationship. 

    Besides sparking a conversation, having good phone etiquette is also a way to keep the caller on the line. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have personally experienced telemarketers who interrupted me, mumbled, and were very vague about the purpose of the call. Needless to say, the call didn’t last long. I am sure I am not the only one who appreciates room for talking, articulation, and a clear statement for the call. Call recipients, like myself, will appreciate your call etiquette and will be more willing to hear you out. 

  13. Ask for Referrals

  14. Referrals are the easiest and cheapest ways to generate prospects. The person you are talking to, whether a current customer or prospect, likely knows someone who would be interested in your product. 

    Once you have the referrals, it makes sales calls much easier. You will immediately have a connection to the caller when you get to say ‘Hello [name] your friend [name] referred you to me because they think I have a product that would benefit you.’ This warms up the call and will build a relationship with the person quicker. 

  15. Use This Question To Book More Meetings

  16. If your call did not end in a sale, you should always ask what day and time would work best for them to meet for the next call. This can be tricky since they might not know their schedule ahead of time, but it is important to confirm a date and time before the call ends. 

    Avoid asking questions like ‘let me know when you’re available to meet’ or saying ‘I’ll email you a link to my calendar.’ They will either give a general time like ‘I’m free on Wednesday’ or they will not book a time at all.  If the person is hesitant to set a specific date and time when you ask, give them a few options for your availability and always book the meeting before getting off the call. 

    Now that you know how to prospect, you should learn the 6 follow up strategies that always work!