Sales prospecting refers to the process of garnering new customers for a business. In today’s competitive market, business owners and sales teams must develop creative ways to reach prospects and stand out from the competition. Relying on cold calling and prospecting emails alone is no longer sufficient.
This article will discuss attracting leads in today’s world using various methods.
How Do You Attract Prospects?
Businesses attract prospects through marketing, which offers many opportunities to get creative. The key to successful prospecting is the constant and consistent use of many marketing channels, approaching customers from many different directions at once. Business owners who prioritize several avenues during the sales process find the most success.
Consider the following methods for attracting potential clients to your business:
- Optimize your website for your location. Your online marketing efforts likely include search engine optimization. When you optimize your website for your local community, searchers in your area find you more easily.
- Create and maintain a social media presence. Social media pages build brand awareness and create networking opportunities you would not have otherwise had.
- Demonstrate your industry expertise. This long-term method of sales prospecting includes writing website blogs, whitepapers, and other reports and taking opportunities to speak at conferences and workshops.
- Network. If you would describe your networking efforts as sporadic, consider doing more. Networking works, but only if you work it.
- Be consistent. Like networking, sporadic marketing offers sporadic results. Be consistent in your marketing strategy to make the most of your efforts.
- Be transparent. Prospects would rather engage with transparent businesses than those with no humanity or personality. Show your potential customers who you are.
What Are the Methods of Approaching Prospects?
Sales prospecting involves ongoing efforts to approach ideal customers. Sales teams do this in a variety of ways, including:
- Warm calls: Although we do not recommend cold calling, warm calling can provide excellent results. A warm call differs from a cold call because you have something to say, not something to sell. Follow up your warm calls with texts or emails for the best results.
- Email marketing: Email is a great platform for B2C and B2B prospecting. Collect email addresses, and get creative to make the most of your email marketing.
- Referrals: Use your existing business contacts to create referral groups.
- Content marketing: You can reach prospects indirectly through quality content. Provide meaningful and informational content to build your brand’s authority and attract qualified leads.
Rather than relying on a single method, try them all and see what works best for your business.
How to Prospect Better
Successful sales prospecting techniques create a narrow sales funnel that targets qualified prospects. If your sales pipeline seems too congested, causing you to miss out on sales because you’re too busy sorting through cold prospects, consider narrowing your sales funnel. Yes, you will get fewer leads overall, but the ones you do get will be more likely to convert.
By focusing on the quality of leads rather than the quantity, you can more easily establish buyer personas and separate leads into categories based on the best way to reach out to each potential buyer.
Identifying clear personas for your B2C and B2B buyers will help you connect easier with leads, those prospects who want outcomes similar to those you’ve attained for existing customers—direct sales leaders to these prospects for more conversions.
7 Out of the Box Prospecting Ideas
Although a prospecting strategy commonly includes emails and warm calls, you can also benefit from thinking out of the box. The best way to get some creative ideas is to get to know your prospects. This task used to require a lot of effort, but you can learn about a sales prospect quickly by finding their social media profiles.
When getting to know a qualified prospect on social media, look at personal information that will help you communicate with them effectively. Does this lead enjoy funny memes, or is their profile more serious? Do they have anything in common with you or a sales rep?
When you get to know who your prospects are, you can connect with them on a human level and offer personalized solutions to their problems.
Consider the ideas below to get creative with your prospecting efforts:
1. Creative Gifts To Send to Prospects
Business owners and sales representatives commonly send gifts to prospects, but the old branded mug or pen won’t inspire much in today’s world. Prospects respond better to personalized gifts that say the salesperson cares enough to get to know them.
Here are a few creative gift ideas for potential prospects:
- New toy: Find out what your prospect enjoys, and gift them a new toy. Send the tech guru a new device or the baker a new book of recipes.
- Location-based gift: Use your prospect’s location to personalize a set of coasters or wall art.
- Charitable gift: Choose a charity local to your prospect and donate in their name.
- Adopt program: Use “adopt a” programs to send meaningful gifts. For example, company mascots make great adoption gifts.
2. Creative Ways To Get Sales Appointments
Although you shouldn’t stop sending those FedEx letters or emails, you may have better luck scheduling sales appointments using more creative methods. Opt for ways that show off your unique personality and make people laugh. Fun and funny people are memorable, but make sure to ground the humor in what you’re offering.
Here are some examples of creative ways to get sales appointments:
- Play on words: Author and entrepreneur Ash Ambirge sold real estate ad space by sending companies roof shingles that read “You + Me = Sales through the roof.”
- Outrageous offering: After receiving no response to their direct mail, Redditor u/thesonofnarcs sent a giant plush crocodile to Outback Steakhouse. They reportedly called back immediately.
- Memorable video: Many free extensions exist for video messaging, including SoapBox, Wistia, and Vidyard. Use one of these to create short, memorable videos. Write your prospect a song, perform a rap, or give your sales pitch while juggling.
When it comes to getting sales appointments, it pays to stand out and make a lasting impression.
Sales Outreach Ideas
Instead of relying on cold outreach to drive sales, stay creative, and stand out from the competition. A few innovative sales outreach ideas include:
- Break the mold: Don’t subscribe to whatever other sales professionals do. Instead, try to stand out. For example, “king of sales” Jeffrey Gitomer doesn’t give out business cards. Instead, he hands out coins featuring his face, contact info, and a clever line, “In sales we trust.”
- Don’t ignore competitors: Many business owners and sales reps don’t mention competitors during outreach calls, but this may be a mistake. You can use your competitors to show how your product or service stands out from the rest.
- Don’t devalue gatekeepers: The receptionists, assistants, and HR personnel are the people you talk to before the leads. These people may not have purchasing power, but they do have the power to influence a decision maker.
3. How to Prospect Online
Finding good prospects requires the use of various platforms. Let’s look at some vital ones and how they facilitate sales prospecting:
- Email: Business owners and sales pros use prospecting emails to get their sales message to qualified leads. Nurturing a sales lead through email offers many opportunities to keep prospects engaged.
- Social Media: Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn offer advertising for effective prospecting. If you don’t have the budget for paid social selling, use social media groups to find prospects online.
- SEO: You can use SEO tactics to drive targeted traffic to your website. Include optimized content for prospects at every stage of the buyer journey.
- PPC: Lead generation is simple with targeted Pay Per Click ads because these place your business on the top page of Google.
4. Creative Ways To Get Publicity
A large part of sales prospecting involves getting your name out there to your ideal prospect. Good publicity drives more leads, whether your business is brand new or decades old. Consider the following prospecting tips for getting more publicity:
- Give out free resources. People trust credible authorities, so don’t horde your industry expertise. Share your unique insights and what you’ve learned through your education and experiences with your target audience.
- Become an advocate. Do you have a favorite cause within your industry? Become an advocate for change and show your prospects that you care about the future of your industry.
- Volunteer your time. You can get great publicity from volunteering your time and energy to the less fortunate. Take your sales team to a soup kitchen, raise money for a local hospital, or find other ways to volunteer.
- Produce media. Create a YouTube channel, a podcast, a radio show, or another type of media to boost authority and publicity.
Lead nurturing involves sending emails that get and hold your prospects’ attention, but don’t send the same emails repeatedly. Emails with the same message often get deleted with no response. Consider the value of each email you send and what it does to encourage a prospect to call you.
Keep your emails short and concise. Today’s consumers will delete lengthy emails without reading them. Your prospects should be able to read your emails on their mobile devices without having to swipe. Prospecting experts refer to this as the “one swipe rule.”
Making time for effective email marketing can prove tricky. With Weave Email Marketing, you can easily send your prospects effective emails using one of our templates. Our template and image libraries are always growing, so you’ll always have new options to choose from.
Today’s consumers don’t rely on emails for communication, so neither should you. You can use texting to your advantage by checking in with warm or hot leads, offering a deal, sale, or promotion, or linking to a free resource.
Marketing products like Weave Messages allow you to take advantage of two-way texting opportunities. You can even use our product to send messages automatically, so you and your staff can focus on other important aspects of your business.
7. Utilize Your Website
Remember that your website is the online face of your business. Update it regularly with relevant content to prevent it from going stale. Both prospects and Google want to see new content added to your website on a regular basis.
Does your website have a page of testimonials? Prospects want to know that they can trust you to provide the services you promise, and they will look for reviews from your past and current customers. If a customer sends you some positive feedback on your excellent customer service, ask for permission to share it on your reviews page.
Great marketing products can also help you manage your reviews from third-party sites like Google and Facebook. Weave Reviews makes it easy to track and manage all of your reviews from these two websites. Our product will help you request reviews from your customers and alert you to new reviews when they’re posted.
Come up with some creative ways to reach prospects to stand out from the competition and drive more conversions.
Save time on your prospecting efforts by letting Weave products automate your communications. We offer no-contract services that allow you to instantly contact your customers and prospects, collect reviews and payments, see customer insights, and more.
Get a demo for your healthcare clinic or other small business today, or call our sales team at 866-308-2039.