Cold calling is painful, time consuming, and even worse, it’s less effective today than it was years ago. Who answers the phone these days?
Here are five prospecting techniques
#1. Ask for introductions. Your current clients may be able to introduce you to people they know: potential new clients.
#2. Speak. A cold call puts you in front of one prospect. A speech puts you before a group. Fill the room up, and go. Your speech should be simple and focused on your area of expertise. Give this speech to your prospects, trade organizations and networking groups—the latter which will get you even more prospects.
#3. Sell to existing clients. Your existing client base is an under-utilized asset. See what happens when you offer them more, even if it wasn’t part of the original contract. With current clients, you don’t have to worry about securing their trust in you; they already have it. Can you create more services or products for your client base? If not, do they know of everything you have to offer?
#4. Targeted networking. Pitch your product to those whom you know already have an interest. At in-person networking events, approach someone and ask, “What brings you here today?” People love to talk about themselves, and this can lead to them becoming your newest client and/or to introductions by them to prospective clients.
#5. LinkedIn targeting. With LinkedIn’s advanced search function you can search for compatible prospects (e.g., geography, industry). Create a list of “custom-ordered” prospects. Then create a marketing and sales campaign to reach out to them. You can even use the LinkedIn higher level profile to contact them directly with an InMail message, which goes straight to their inbox.
These five prospecting techniques can outperform standard cold calling. Prospecting must keep up with ever-evolving technology in the realm of communications. However, there may be a perfect time and place for an occasional cold call, so don’t blow off the cold call entirely.
It’s just that by optimizing these five strategies, you will get far more return on your time invested than you would with the same time devoted to cold calling.
Which of these techniques was most effective for you? Please share your experiences below in the comments.