Prospect Calling Evolved: 4 Techniques to Up Your Game
August 6, 2019
Prospect calling: love it or hate it, this practice will likely always be part of the job. Our methods for communicating with potential customers are now more varied than ever, but there’s still something distinctly connective about getting on the phone and hearing someone’s voice.
With that said, there’s a difference between prospect calling and cold calling. The latter implies a lack of familiarity or consent from the person you’re trying to reach, and typically turns out to be a frivolous endeavor (or worse: a burden on your reputation as a seller). Should you find yourself hungry for new leads and thinking about dialing out for unsolicited outreach, we’ve got some alternative suggestions that are more likely to be productive.
You may be familiar with these tactics, but if you’re still aching to pick up the phone, here’s a quick list of four things you can do instead.
1. Do Some Prospect Calling Research
This is huge. The reason cold calling has become passé is that it’s contacting someone you don’t know anything about and trying to sell them something they may or may not need. It’s not that it never works, but even if you get lucky, you’re skipping a critical step.
Use the prospect intel tools at your disposal to do (at the minimum) some quick research to warm up the conversation. You want to know enough about your prospect to be able to show your offer has value.
2. Make Strategic Connections
We can’t say it enough, and here’s a stat to remind you: according to research by Vorsight, contacting someone when you have a second-degree connection increases conversion rates from 32% to 50%.
Thanks to modern selling tools, it’s quick and easy to find out who you know in common with your prospect. Selling is an inherently social act; don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction and to return the favor by doing the same for your teammates and colleagues.
3. Become a Community Member
Now this one is specific to LinkedIn, but it can certainly apply elsewhere. Join groups and engage in a dialogue. Find like-minded people and become a valued contributor to the conversation.
Offer advice and ask pertinent questions to develop your online presence. This principle can be applied to other online spaces where your prospects bring their pressing business concerns into the public space.
4. Think Like a Marketer
Spend the time you would normally be pushing through a long list of cold calls to work on a reusable presentation or piece of content to send to your prospects. Marketers may have the creative, but you’re on the front line of understanding the needs of your clients and potential clients. There are tons of free tools that enable sales professionals to easily create presentations to send to a specific client or be repurposed and improved on in the future.
Even cold call die-hards have to admit the merits of warming up the conversation before picking up the phone. The more you can create a comfortable, organic conversation, the more successful you will be. It’s been proven time and time again—and now you have modern selling tools at your disposal that make it easier than ever.
To learn more about heating up your prospect calling, check out our definitive guide to cold calling.