In today’s competitive sales landscape, catching your prospect’s attention has become an art form. In the past, cold-calling was the primary approach and success was measured on dial-outs and talk time. Now, sales is all about mastering digital channels, personalising outreach, and building a personal brand to work smarter, not harder, to win new business.
In this blog post, we will explore strategies that sales professionals can use to effectively be noticed by prospects (without lying through their teeth to gatekeepers). We will delve into the importance of understanding your prospects, different methods to reach them, and how building a personal brand can make your outreach more impactful.
Part I: Understand your prospects…inside out!
Yes, it is tempting to pick up the phone or start blasting emails right away but hold your horses! Before you can effectively target and engage with your prospects, it is crucial to have an in-depth understanding of who they are and what they actually need. Here is how to get started:
1. Define your prospect’s profile
Create a detailed persona for your ideal prospect. Understand their role, responsibilities, pain points, and motivations. What keeps them up at night? What solutions are they seeking?
2. Identify their preferred communication channels
Different prospects across different industries may prefer various communication channels. Some may be more active on LinkedIn and appreciate emails or InMails, whilst others may appreciate a direct cold call. Identifying their most active channel(s) will help you tailor your approach.
3. Research their digital footprint
The internet is a goldmine for sales professionals. Research your prospects thoroughly. Read their social posts and engage with their content. This will help you gain insights into their interests and engage with them more meaningfully.
4. Do not overlook technology
Use tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and email tracking software to gain valuable information about which messages your prospects are engaging with and which ones they are ignoring. The best salespeople are the ones who constantly test new strategies and track their performance.
Part II: Add value to pique your prospects’ interest
The goal of prospecting is to add enough value that you capture your prospects’ attention and pique their interest. Here are some ways to achieve this:
1. Personalise your outreach
Personalised outreach comes from referencing specific details you have found from your research. In outreach messages, avoid talking about yourself and your company. Instead, focus on what you know about your prospect, what pain points you believe they are facing and how you can improve their situation.
2. Targeted email marketing
Craft highly personalised email campaigns that address your prospects’ challenges. Write a catchy subject line and keep emails short and sweet. Build an email sequence that offers valuable insights and solutions to your prospect whilst promoting your product or service. Use tools like Yesware to streamline efficiency and send emails to multiple prospects at once.
3. LinkedIn messaging
LinkedIn is a great way to reach prospects if you do it correctly (and ethically). Avoid connecting and pitching straight away. Instead, frequently engage with your prospects on LinkedIn and message them when the time feels right. Perhaps they have posted about something that you can use as a segue into your pitch. You can also stay active in their comments section to contribute to discussions and position yourself as a valuable resource.
4. Host webinars
Recognise your prospects’ pain points and host webinars that help solve some of them. Do not give away everything for free, but give prospects a taste of what’s to come. Plus, sign-ups will give you crucial contact information, and the webinar itself can be repurposed into future content that shows other prospects how credible you are.
5. Build a strong network
Join relevant online communities and groups, and blend in! Share knowledge and insights to establish yourself as a thought leader. Then when the time is right, connect with potential clients through the community. Also, you could use this as a personal touch when messaging stakeholders outside the group - “Spotted that you work with XYZ - we’re both members of ABC community!”.
Although cold-calling is pretty old-school, it’s not dead. For prospects in many industries, it is still a very effective outreach method! But, avoid relying on cold-calling as your only strategy - supplement cold calls with a targeted email campaign or LinkedIn engagement. Here is an article that might help if you would like to improve your cold-calling game.
Part III: The power of a personal brand
I’m sure you have heard it a million times before but building a personal brand really is a game-changer for sales professionals. Here is why it matters:
1. Inbound leads:
Regularly posting valuable content and insights on platforms like LinkedIn will attract inbound leads. Prospects who see your posts may engage with your content and/or reach out to express their interest.
2. Enhanced recognition:
If you consistently appear in your prospects' social media feeds, they will become more familiar with your name and brand. This familiarity means that your outreach (whether it is a cold call, email campaign or message) feels much warmer than cold outreach.
3. Maximising LinkedIn connection requests:
LinkedIn gives you 100 connection requests to send out per week. Make the most of this by maximising these and being strategic by sending requests to your ideal clients. Plus, a growing network of relevant connections will increase your visibility and spread your content to more relevant people.
The world of sales is always evolving, so being noticed by your prospects requires a multi-faceted approach. While email marketing, personalised messaging, and personal branding are all powerful tools, the most effective strategy often involves combining these methods.
By understanding your prospects deeply, adding value, and consistently engaging with them, you will establish meaningful connections that will lead to successful sales outcomes!