Aaron Ross is the Author of Best-selling book "Predictable Revenue" (http://predictablerevenue.com/book/). Here he discusses how to take prospecting enjoyable. These tips will help small business owners in making prospecting a satisfying and enjoyable process.
- Focus on those that need what you have to offer
- Utilize referrals over making cold calls
- Write simple, text-based emails
- Be friendly- ask "Did I catch you at a bad time?"
I know a lot of people, entrepreneurs and sales people struggle with prospecting. I got a prospect. I hate prospecting. It doesn’t work. I don’t like making cold calls blah blah blah. And what I realized, you know, when I was at Salesforce.com creating their prospecting team, it’s like okay if we don’t enjoy it’s just first of all it’s going to be horrible and it’s not going to stick. It’s not going to sustain itself. It’s not going to get great results. You know if you have people who hate their jobs it just doesn’t work so well over time.
So you know we came up with ways to make prospecting enjoyable and here’s a few of my best tips. So first, I know this sounds a little silly but people don’t do it is focus on clients who actually need what you have to offer. Nothing is worse than trying to sell it to someone who actually doesn’t really want what you have. Sometimes they have a hard time saying “No” too. So you now really focus—try to be clear as you can on your ideal client profile. Who really will actually buy from you? That’s a first step and disqualify early.
Second thing is focus on referrals rather than cold calls. Now referrals you can do through e-mail or through calls. There’s ways you can do it in very friendly, repeatable, predictable manner but referrals are a lot easier more fun and a lot more effective than cold calls.
The third tip is if you are using e-mail in a way to get referrals and you know, we call it cold calling 2.0 but you can get a lot of referrals from cold accounts. You know people who don’t know you with e-mail. Use really simple text based no fancy pictures. Just text little short text e-mails--in Blackberry or IPhone or Twitter site e-mails to ask for the referral and keep it short and simple.
None of these long, you know, do you have this problems and you know come viddo letters, it’s long sales letters. People don’t--they’re not going to read that. Send something that-- for the first e-mail something that long. All right that’s easy isn’t it.
And the last one for now is this question of, you know, you say you’re e-mailing somebody or you have a referral and you call someone who’s not expecting it. May be even if they are expecting it, a great question, again my favorite one in the situation is just to pick it up, say hello and you ask him “Hey did I catch you in a bad time?” It’s very friendly. It diffuses any kind of defensiveness and what they’ll say is usually “No but how can I help you?” and by the way if it really if it truly is a bad time they’ll tell you and you wouldn’t want to talk to them anyway and in that case you ask them “Oh when would be a better time?” all right. It’s really a no-lose question. So trust me if you put a little attention on it and you try some of this tips and customize and experiment a bit, you can make prospecting a lot more enjoyable for you which is going to get you better results and actually make it a lot easier to wake up in the day and enjoy your job and your work.