Top Tip #13: Prospect like a Pro

*Jen Wagstaff author of The Top Performer Journal.png

Are you getting the best results possible when prospecting on the phone? Have you nailed your outreach strategy? In this blog we look at how to fill your pipeline full of great prospects by prospecting like a pro. We explore the different prospecting activities in your toolbox and I give you loads of top tips on how to make the most of your most valuable asset; the phone.

By Jen Wagstaff, Director of CreativeMind and author of the Top Performer Journal; a powerful daily planner to help you develop great sales habits for success.

To download the strategy worksheets that accompany this blog, click here.

Prospecting is a bit like flossing your teeth. You don’t really want to do it every day, but when you have a gaping hole in your tooth you wish you had. 

A healthy sales pipeline will always give you a confident smile.

And the right daily action will ensure you always have great opportunities to pursue.

Many salespeople think of prospecting and start hammering the phones, calling lists of people with little thought and zero strategy.

Yes, the phone is a biggie when it comes to prospecting.

And if used correctly it the best way of quickly and effectively converting leads to opportunities.

But there are many other prospecting activities that can deliver leads into your pipeline than just calling.

Should have flossed

Should have flossed

Prospecting Activities

There are many different ways of creating great leads. The ones that work best for you will depend upon your skill at each activity, the frequency you do them and your prospect's communication preference.

To understand what works best, a great place to start is by looking at your biggest closes and tracking them back: how did you receive the leads?

  • Cold calling

  • Warm calling

  • Social media

  • Networking

  • Events/ Trade Shows

  • Speaking at events

  • Giving and receiving referrals

  • Growing customer accounts

  • Inbound leads

  • Other?


Are you prospecting the right way?

To understand if you are prospecting the right way, and to explore how and where you could be making better use of your time, I've put together a strategy pack to help you become clear on prospecting and focus on the activities that will help you achieve your sales goal. Follow these steps:

1. Download the strategy pack

2. Go to TOP TIP 4 in the strategy pack and tick the prospecting activities you do regularly. Add any others to the list.

3. Tick the ways your ideal client likes to communicate

4. Tick the activities that have led to your biggest closes

This will give you insight into how and where you should spend your time to generate better leads.


Calling Tips

Whether generating leads of following up, your skill on the phone is paramount to your success. Follow these top tips and boost your call success:

  • Book a call in there and then. I've met salespeople who have countless comp slips and business cards piling up on their desk from trade shows, canvasing and networking. They forget to call or end up chasing. As soon as you hear an opportunity get your diary out and say "when would be a good time for a call to discuss this further"?. Book it in there and then.

  • Follow up leads immediately. Yes, immediately. Salespeople who call within the hour of receiving a lead are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation. Plus, buyers tend to choose to go with the the first salesperson they speak to. Make sure it's you.

  • Call in ‘Power Hours’: Schedule an hour in your diary, turn off distractions and spend one hour bursts making calls to similar prospects. 

  • Prospect from your A-list: Don’t aimlessly call lists of people. Call ideal prospects and key contacts who can refer you to opportunities.

  • Warm up your calls: Do your research, find out how you can help them, connect in advance and send them something of value. If possible, find something that links you to them to create initial rapport.

  • Call with a reason (add value): Be extremely clear as to the reason you are calling (how you can help them) and state it immediately. Don’t talk about your product, instead focus on how it will help them to save, improve, solve or increase something.

  • Ask a big open question: Find out how you can help by turning the topic of conversation to them as soon as possible

  • Work out what works.... and do more of that: Write down your intro and try it for 10 calls. Note how successful it was. Then change it and call 10 more people. Try different speeds, tones and find out what works for you, and do more of it.

  • Ask for referrals. 91% of customers would be happy to give a referral. Only 11% of salespeople ask for it. Do the math. If you are not asking for referrals from your happy customers you are missing out on the single easiest way of getting a qualified recommended lead.

These tips are taken from our Top Performer Journal where we encourage you to transform them from tips into great daily habits. Check out the Journal here here.

The best cold call I ever received. A perfect mix of shameless compliments, clear purpose and added value. I almost shed a tear.

In summary

This week, challenge yourself to be more strategic with your prospecting time. What activities do  you need to do more of? Less of? What do you need to learn to do better? What new activities can you try to help you connect in different ways?

HOW CAN I COACH MY TEAM TO develop a great prospecting strategy?

Got a sales team? Want some ready made training material to use in your next team meeting?

1. Download the strategy pack. 

2. Print off the relevant ready made worksheets to use in your next team meeting.

3. Follow the examples and coach your team to create a great prospecting strategy.


5 Top Performer Tips for a Focused Sales Strategy

  • Gain control of your success by breaking down your goal

  • Strengthen your networks through developing an 'A-list' of ideal prospects

  • Improve your sales pipeline by prospecting like a pro

Download for free 5 Top Tips for a Focused Sales Strategy

Or order your very own Top Performer Journal today.

Blog written by Jen Wagstaff, CreativeMind Sales Training

"Great daily prospecting; guaranteed to give you a confident smile"