If you want to predict more deals, start by educating your prospects

by Will Rotondi

You may laugh when you come across the occasional fortune teller shop on the side of the road, but they’re there for a reason: as a society, we do a lot of future planning, trying to predict just how events will unfold, or what we’ll have to do to ensure that they happen.

Will you earn that big promotion? Will your favorite sports team pull through this year? Will your political views be given the most consideration? Will your travel plans or home life be disrupted by severe weather?

Will you find enough people to add to your sales pipeline?

That’s what can be particularly frustrating when it comes to your prospecting efforts – you think you should know how and when your prospects will turn into sales leads, but you don’t. Even with the technology to track who opens your emails, clicks on links, and visits specific pages on your website, it won’t be able to tell you who actually has a need right now, much less when they’ll choose to speak with you.

So, if you know what you can’t do, let’s focus on what you can.

First, make sure you’re reaching out to the right prospects. Broach this by asking about a service they provide, not that you provide. For instance, say that you offer customer service training: you’ll want to make sure that you’re talking with the person who oversees that kind of service at your prospect’s company before you go into more detail. Otherwise, your entire email exchange will fall on deaf ears (or in this case, blind eyes).

Once you know who to talk to, send them informative material twice a month that is relevant to their industry and indirectly addresses your services. Again, if we we’re talking about customer service training, maybe you’ll write to them about the latest study that shows what types of training would be the most effective with their staff, or how their customers’ needs have changed due to technology.

This will establish your credibility so that when the time comes, your prospects will choose to schedule a call with you.

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