sales prospectingI don’t know about you, but I’m inundated with people that want to speak with me to try and sell me something.  I can return to my office to find countless emails and voicemails, more than I’m prepared to deal with on any given day. As busy as I am, if I receive an email that I don’t recognize, or perhaps it’s a subject line that is attempting to sell me something – I DELETE it.  If I receive a telephone call and don’t recognize the caller on my Caller ID, I allow it to go to voicemail. Voicemail has become my screening device. When I get around to checking my voicemail, if it’s from someone I don’t know or wanting to speak with me about their latest and greatest offering – I DELETE it. If I had to guess, I bet you are doing the same exact thing! The fact of the matter is that you are no different than the people you are trying to reach. They are most likely deleting your emails and voicemails too!

Results from a survey of senior executives in the high technology industry identified cold calling as the least probable reason they would agree to speak with a salesperson (Selling to Senior Executives). Even our CCS® Index survey showed that 50% of salespeople indicated cold calling as the least effective method of prospecting. No wonder salespeople hate it. 

Faced with this new reality and my need to generate more sales, I began to modify and experiment with new approaches to business development and prospecting by:

  • Precise targeting of executives who could purchase my offering
  • Utilizing productivity tools like LinkedIn ‘activity’, Google Alert, PRNewswire, Lead411, etc. to monitor the organizations I was targeting
  • Identifying what I call ‘triggering events’ (business challenges, goals, problems, or needs) that were important to the executives I was targeting
  • Developing Sales Ready Messaging® that is provocative and relevant to those known business challenges and initiatives
  • Engaging with executives, using multiple methods, with information that is relevant to their challenges and initiatives
  • Leveraging business and social relationships to connect with executives
  • Becoming part of the continuing conversation to stay engaged and relevant

I’ve been extremely pleased with this approach and the results I’ve obtained since beginning to use it. It aligns perfectly with what we teach in our CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS®) sales training workshops.

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