by Will Rotondi
Whether you’re a sales rep with your own established territory or a soloprenuer, you may feel like a lone wolf. Sure, you can bounce ideas off your fellow reps, or network to learn more about managing your own business, but it still falls on you to reach out to your prospects, convert them into leads, then convert those leads into deals.
On the one hand, that can be very freeing. You do your work at your own pace, on your own terms. On the other hand, it feels like you’re doing all of the work – and you already know it’s a lot of work.
While I can’t speak for sales, I do know that if you follow these 7 steps, you’ll make your prospecting far more manageable:
Outline the types of prospects you want to meet. Use the companies you’ve done business with in the past as a guidepost by looking at industry, employee size, revenue, and geography.
Verify prospect email addresses. Most prospects screen their calls. Email has a better chance of being opened and responded to, if you can get your message into their Inboxes.
Craft a simple message that will get you to the right person. “I’d like to learn more about [x] at your company. Who’s the best person for this discussion?” Keep it short and direct. The longer it is, the more likely you’ll get ignored, deleted, or viewed as spam.
Measure electronic engagement. Know who’s opening your emails, even if they don’t respond to them directly. That’ll tell you if your messaging is effective, and who to follow-up with more closely.
Follow-up at a respectful rate. A couple of times each month is consistent enough to keep you on your prospects’ radar without being pushy.
Cast a wide net. Don’t get too bogged down in the minutiae of the process. Yes, you’ll wind up emailing the wrong people. Yes, some of them might get mad that you’re emailing them. Yes, you’ll get a lot of noes, or times where they won’t respond to you, period. That’s the nature of prospecting: to weed out the noes and get to the yeses.
Stay positive. Have a team to support your prospecting efforts. It’s easy to feel like prospecting is an exercise in failure. It’s actually an exercise in patience. If you dig in for the long haul, you’ll see more results in time.