One of the things we do to add maximum value to our readers is interviewing top sales experts in the field and talking about topics that are the most important.
In this article, we’ve collected 10 best tips on sales prospecting from sales professionals we all love and admire, including:
- Morgan Ingram
- Scott Leese
- Jill Rowley
- Aaron Ross
- Tony J Hughes
Jill Rowley: the winning mindset
According to Jill, there are 2 factors that success depends on. The number one is the mindset or how you think of your prospects. Two, your attitude or what are the consequences of your actions.
Jill deliberately never uses the word “prospect” and she thinks of everyone as future advocates, friends, colleagues, and partners.
She suggests to call them buyers because even if they are not buying from you now, they can always do that someday in the future. Or they might know someone who will buy. For Jill, every interaction matters.
Also, she spends more time on research than it's required. This helps her get a better narrative, craft a more powerful message, and make it more about her buyers than her.
“Always think what impact will have this or that doing and remember that you never know what will be in the future and how everything turns out”.
~ Jill Rowley
Matt Heinz: developing a prospecting playbook
According to Matt, even if someone shows interest, it doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. Until they say they want to buy, it's still an "if".
With that in mind, if you're trying to book a demo from the very beginning of a conversation, chances are you will receive a “no” from your prospect.
Instead, Matt suggests this. When the right person at the right company downloads your white paper, a salesperson should call them and ask these questions:
- What about this white paper?
- What made it interesting?
- What's going on in your business that made the topic of that white paper needed right now?
- What are you working on?
- What are you thinking about?
Depending on how they answer, you can adjust your conversation and try to provide advice and guidance. By doing so, you are helping them lower their guard and continue the conversation about their challenges.
“Try to develop a strategy that will show you in a better light. Once you develop it - it will be a playbook and a checklist that you will be able to follow when something happens”.
~ Matt Heinz
Morgan Ingram: overcoming the fear of prospecting
Did you have this situation when you have your list of prospects, you've done the research, you're ready to call your prospects... but you've got that fear that is holding you back?
People face that fear of prospecting because they're afraid to be rejected. To overcome this fear, you need to be focused and think about what's the worst-case scenario.
The worst-case scenario is always when someone hangs up on you. The prospect is not going to tell you that this call is terrible and come to your office or house.
Morgan is sure that once you realize it, you will be able to get over that fear.
Another reason may be the fear of saying something wrong. For this, you need to continuously practice. According to Morgan, no one has the perfect message every single time. You have to practice and figure out what are the best practices you need to be doing to get better.
“Don't overthink being the perfect cause and no one is perfect and don’t be afraid too much of being rejected because the worst scenario would always be someone hanging up which is not the end of the world that can happen anytime”.
~ Morgan Ingram
Morgan Ingram: the 3-second rule
Here is another great tip from Morgan.
Most sales reps can predict what objections will be coming and they know how to handle them from the beginning. However, if you interrupt their objection and giving them a scripted answer, you will be making one of the most common mistakes in sales.
Morgan realized he was getting fewer opportunities because people were getting annoyed that he was cutting them off. So he came up with this “3-second rule” where he takes three seconds to process what prospects said and then asks a follow-up question.
These 3 seconds give you the ability to absorb all information given by a prospect and then follow up on it.
“Implement this “3-second rule” in your strategy and process and you will see the impact in no time because people really want to be listened to”.
~ Morgan Ingram
Mark Hunter: sticking to your ICP
According to Mark, it’s very easy for salespeople to get sideways.
For example, if somebody shows a little interest, salespeople suddenly start thinking that this is their next big customer. But if they look at the person who demonstrated interest, they don’t even come close to lining up to their ideal customer profile (ICP).
Mark believes that if the prospect doesn't line up to at least 70-80% of the profile of your ICP, you shouldn’t spend any time on them.
“Don’t spend time on prospects who don’t match your ICP. Because you will wind up spending time with people who you can't close”.
~ Mark Hunter
Tony J Hughes: reaching out to several prospects from one company
According to Tony, here is where many sellers make a big mistake. Starting with one or two people and then reaching out to other people in one company.
His advice is to go with everybody at the same time and craft different messages for every position you're reaching out to. Why?
Because if you don't get a response from one person, the first thing that happens is sellers confuse being ignored with being rejected.
On average, decision-makers get at least 120 emails a day. It means they are just too busy to check your email or answer your call.
That’s exactly why Tony suggests contacting several people from the same company at once. And once you receive an answer like “just deal with me” you can answer that you are already in a contact with other people. And the reason you've done that is because you know that for them to be able to buy your product, they need to have everybody on board.
“Go with everyone at the same time and try to establish contact with more people. Because the more people and contacts = more chances to sell”.
~ Tony J Hughes
Tony J Hughes: dealing with price-sensitive prospects when closing large deals
Let’s pretend you deal with price-sensitive prospects and they are really focusing on pricing. There is no commitment yet. What to do? How to suit the conversation back to value and not price?
According to Tony, most problems for sellers are created by themselves.
For example, if you talk about your product, you automatically invite questions from that prospect about price and comparison with the competition. So from the moment you talk about yourself, they start thinking about how much it costs.
Tony suggests talking about what improvements they expect to receive, what is going on in their companies at that moment, and getting as many details as possible. All these give you the ability to engage with your prospects and build relationships.
“Always try to have this two-way conversation and discuss details of their business case for change and not about you and your product or what you sell”.
~ Tony J Hughes
Deb Calvert: dealing with pricing objections
Every prospect is supposed to protest about the price. Because it’s like a part of their job. So it’s crucial for them to do at least one attempt to get savings.
However, pricing objections often aren’t real objections and this is just a test to see if they are able to get a discount. As a salesperson, you need to find out if the price objection is a real one.
Dev suggests using a strategy of asking opposite questions to figure out if the prospect will choose you. By asking these questions you will be able to uncover the real reason and decide how you will proceed.
“Always try to find the real reason for objections and only then try to handle it knowing what really stops your customer from buying from you”.
~ Deb Calvert
Scott Leese: prospecting in a time of crisis
Everything is unstable these days and no one knows what will be in the nearest future. Should you spend time on prospecting or it’s a waste of time?
According to Scott, you need to focus on things that you can control. Your attitude, your effort, how you spend your time, your KPIs, and how diligently you follow up with prospects.
He believes that you need to have a mindset of thriving and succeeding. If you need to work twice as hard now, work.
If you need to evolve your sales pitch, evolve it. It’s very important to take a proactive approach where you don't want to let anything stand in your way.
“Spend more time on your own developments as a salesperson and stay positive and confident in what you do. And don’t stress yourself out worrying about things you can’t control”.
Aaron Ross: nailing a niche in the crisis
During the crisis, you still need to focus on prospecting. Of course, in such times, your potential customers are not the same as they were a month ago. That’s why your messaging should change and you need to rethink your offers.
You need to reset all your prior expectations and be more focused on one niche. Nailing a niche is the most common problem companies and their people struggle with. Aaron thinks that in this time of uncertainty everyone finally has enough room to triple down on this idea.
He is convinced that becoming more and more focused is very important.
“Try to be more specific. Because you need to fit a new normal, the new situation”.
~ Aaron Ross