Guest post by Forster Perelsztejn
Selling in the field doesn’t have to be hard. Of course, it’ll always take a bit of courage but why not ease the pain of the cold lead with a nice first touch?
Since companies aren’t used to get personal visits and decision makers are often busy, getting your proverbial foot in the door before knocking on it might go a long way.
After all, it’s your territory to cover and you’re dealing with professionals; do what it takes to ensure success! My job at Prospect.io is to help customers get in touch with their own prospects, so let me help you with this!
The fastest, easiest, most scalable yet personalized way to get in touch with prospects remains the email.
Now, your goal here isn’t to sell but rather to start a conversation – as it should always be – to get your prospect familiarized with you. You can do that by asking about their challenges, share a piece of content, invite them to an event…
Just remember one thing: you need to make this about them and provide value!
Note: While it’s an efficient and scalable method, email can backfire with your prospect wanting to get rid of you before you have a chance to get into details because the prospect of having someone step into their office for a sales conversation does not make them particularly happy.
Which is why, if you’re going to announce yourself, you need to make it irresistible. Your prospect must stand to gain something just by opening the door to you. Convey value and email is your best friend!
By the way, the most efficient way to find professional email addresses and reach out to prospects in a scalable way is to use a sales automation platform. They’re generally rather affordable and can help you cut down your prospecting time by 80%, so you can focus on the good stuff.
Pick up the phone! But not in a Jordan Belfort way. Remember, this is a warming up call.
The whole point is to introduce yourself and ask your prospect a few question about their situation and their challenges. Don’t have an agenda, just gather information and, again, provide value. Also, study the area so you can tailor suggestions and ideas.
Another tip: ask for a good place to grab a bite near their office since you’ll be in the area and offer them to join you!
When you show up at their doorstep, not only will they already know you from this pleasant conversation a few days prior, but you’ll be prepared to tailor your presentation and framing of the discussion to their actual challenges.
Think about it. It takes a whole day of phone calls to properly get in touch with 40 people but it nearly guarantees you a meaningful face-to-face conversation with every one of them when you show up at their doorstep.
Christmas aside, when’s the last time you received a handwritten note from any kind of provider?
We’re so used to handle every piece of business electronically that physical communications tend to stand out. Hell, we tend to do so much through emails that even cold calls tend to stand out.
Consider buying some nice paper and writing a few personalized words about your prospect. Congratulate them for a recent funding round or for moving in their new offices, thank them for their environmental efforts…
Send it over the post or, better yet, drop it at the reception desk. Your face will already be known when you come knocking later and the gesture is guaranteed make a good impression.
Ever heard of Dan Waldschmidt? He’s one of the top sales bloggers around and he has an extremely audacious approach to sales. When he finds a prospect who seems to have missed an opportunity, he sends them a wooden box enclosing a sword with the prospect’s name engraved on it. A handwritten letter accompanies it, telling the CEO he’s got their back in the next battle.
As you can imagine, that kind of campaign generated not only a 100% response rate but also quite a lot of lucrative contracts.
Now, this is not to say you should indulge in such gestures for all the prospects whose door you’re going to be knocking on, but rather to encourage you to do a little bit of research and/or segmentation and in order for you to ship valuable and personalized gifts to your prospects.
Since typically less than half of your door knocks will lead to you being invited into your prospect’s home/office, warming them up with a gift relevant to them might help double your close rate at the end of the day!
Getting in touch with B2C prospects on Facebook or Twitter would be a bit creepy but getting in touch with B2B prospects on LinkedIn is the easiest and most efficient thing you can do to get the ball rolling.
Don’t start pitching your product; start a conversation instead, interact with their content, introduce them to people that might be of help to them…
When you turn up, it’ll be hard for them to turn you down!
According to Joanne Black, referrals make it possible to close sales in 50 to 70 percent of cases. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you get introduced to a qualified prospect by someone they know, respect and trust, they will lower their guard and you won’t have to convince them to hear you out.
This is how powerful referrals are:
- You bypass the gatekeeper and immediately get to the decision-maker
- You instantly get ahead of your competition
- You earn trust and credibility in the eyes of your prospect
- Having been referred, they might, as a customer, offer introductions themselves
- Every customer you have, they have neighbors they can introduce you to, even without praising your product.
Data shows that 91% of customers are generally willing to give referrals, yet only 11% of salespeople ask for it.
Want to know more? Here’s John Rampton’s guide to asking for referrals!
Anything goes (?)
The idea is to make a personal and personalized gesture, with some originality if possible. However, here are a few things you should avoid:
Working during the Christmas holidays? Don’t your kids caroling to warm it up, you might annoy the prospect and CPS might get involved.
Working around easter? Don’t put chocolate eggs on their lawn, you never know if they have a dog! If you do know and still do it… you’re a terrible person.
Also, announcing your visit on a loudspeaker while driving through the neighborhood might be kind of a turnoff.
Make it classy and go warm those prospects up!
About Forster Perelsztejn
As a content marketer, Forster gathers sales data at Prospect.io in order to deliver powerful and insightful advice to salespeople.
Check out his Top 10 Cold Email Templates Based on 3,327,652 Emails Sent! and connect with him on LinkedIn!
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