PREPARATION- Identify, Analyse & Invite
Effective Sales Prospecting is considered as one of the first processes of the sales cycle and is the bread & butter of an organisation. Because, if you want your business to reach newer heights, you need to capture more prospects – every single day. Prospecting is one of the key stages of the sales process and simply involves reaching out to potential customers.
“There’s one more fact you need to acknowledge about prospecting – leads won’t just fall into your lap. You’ve got to take action for something to happen.”Effective Prospecting Techniques by The Sixth Element (A Nishant K. Makasare Enterprise)
Unfortunately, most sales persons and their guides use ineffective and outdated sales prospecting techniques, instead of the effective practices that could actually lead to a higher volume of well-qualified leads (and make them more partial to prospecting). Just like every other aspect of the sales process, you need to put in the effort and focus required. This is the only way to prospect efficiently so that you don’t waste your time on unqualified leads that aren’t suited for your product or service. You have to schedule everything perfectly and keep track of your progress and failures.
3 Golden Steps of Effective Prospecting
Before we go ahead, primarily let’s understand the basics.
Who is a Prospect?
A prospect is a suspect that has engaged with you in some way, whom you intend to convert to a lead. A person or company who could be a potential client/customer for the product and/or services that you offer.Effective Prospecting Techniques by The Sixth Element (A Nishant K. Makasare Enterprise)
Step 1. IDENTIFY
Your goal at this stage is to qualify this prospect to the point that you know that he is the decision-maker and you have identified his interest level in your products and/or services.
At this stage you classify the prospect in accordance to certain characteristics that suit your offering on a broad level following which you identify the reasons he/she needs to be brought into your prospecting list. Remember, every piece of information about your prospect is valuable information. Every little detail that you acquire gives you an understanding of your prospect with regards to his standard of living, his occupation, financial condition, risk taking ability, lifestyle and buying capacity. The classification indeed is a “NICE AID” to zero in, as mentioned below;
Remember, every piece of information about your prospect is valuable information.Identify Your Prospect- 3 Golden Steps of Effective Prospecting by The Sixth Element (A Nishant K. Makasare Enterprise)
Step 2. ANALYSE
Analysing your Prospect is a bare essential in sales and marketing to facilitate sales professionals to achieve their single most important goal: to sell and to sell more profitably. It is done by tracking and analysing the prospect’s reason to buy a service/product, through direct interaction between the sales professional or indirect interaction (company representative information) and the Prospect. These interactions reveal the grounds as to why the Prospect would lean towards buying your service/product. Prospect Analysis gives you a complete picture of how your sales pitch should be based on your recent interaction or through past records & available database.
Through various platforms of interactions it can be understood or information can be procured, to which of the following categories does the Prospect lean towards while making a decision on buying a service/product. These pointers single or coupled together can direct the sales professional to formulate the initial pitch (Invitation to buy/invest) in turn making it a reason to purchase your service/product. Every pointer is a “CO-RIDER”, assisting you to convert your Prospect into a Customer.
It’s of integral importance to find out, “WHY” would your prospect buy your service/productAnalyse Your Prospect- 3 Golden Steps of Effective Prospecting by The Sixth Element (A Nishant K. Makasare Enterprise)
Step 3. INVITE
The term Invite is usually used in the Direct Selling Business. Here we stick to the conventional meaning and understanding of the term INVITE.
Now that you have Identified Your Prospect (with integral information) and you have Analysed him/her (studied the important aspects of his/her probable buying reasons), you have gauged the category/categories which he falls in. This is going to help you make your 1st Pitch- to fix an appointment for a presentation i.e., getting him to hear out your offering at a date, day, time and venue which may be mutually decided.
Mastering the invitation skill is a must for Sales Professionals.Invite Your Prospect- 3 Golden Steps of Effective Prospecting by The Sixth Element (A Nishant K. Makasare Enterprise)
Do’s & Don’ts Of Inviting Your Prospect
Do’s of Inviting Your Prospect
1. Since this is your 1st Pitch- Make sure it creates an Interest
2. Remember every Invitation has to be keeping in account your study & observation about your Prospect (Refer to Identification & Analysis of that Prospect)
3. Make affirmative statements by keeping in mind the identification and analysis of that Prospect.
4. Arouse curiosity regarding the solution you offer without giving out details.
5. Have a confident approach with high energy and enthusiasm.
6. Seek for an appointment by a conversation or by writing about the topic of “INTEREST” by making a healthy connect with the solution you offer. This should be by assuring him that your offering is going to be a value add in his life and its going to be worth his time.
7. Make sure you confirm an appointment for the presentation of your subject at a place & time convenient for “BOTH”
8. Use the appropriate words for scheduling your appointment for presentation. Eg. Meeting, Demonstration, Detailed Discussion, Presentation, Explanation etc.
9. Use reminders via text messages, telephone call or email. But make sure its a gentle touch to remind him/her that the detailed discussion/meeting schedule is going to be worth the time.
Don’ts of Inviting Your Prospect
1. Don’t give out too many details of your subject. At this stage you are there to take an appointment for a more serious meeting that has to be scheduled later and not to make a presentation at that time.
2. Every question at this stage regarding the subject and topic needs to be handled very confidently without giving too many details, since answering directly can lead to further probing and questioning. So, the best answer is that, “Oh wow, that’s an interesting concern, I would request you to write this question down, so that we can discuss this one in detail at the meeting scheduled on……”
3. Don’t go for an invitation without being prepared i.e., without studying about your Prospect (Refer to Identification & Analysis of that Prospect).
4. Don’t make it a casual affair, you mean business and avoid every piece of casual talk that can deviate the purpose of your visit or call.
5. Don’t make your call or visit for invitation at non-office hours. It’s okay to not talk at all if it’s not at a good time rather than talking at the wrong time.
6. Don’t use open ended questions while asking for an appointment. Ex. do you have the time?, i hope you can make some time, when will you be free? Rather use more to the point definitive questions. Whip out your planner/appointment diary, look at the dates and ask for dates and day that match both your convenience.
Ex. “Do you prefer meetings during early hours or evenings?“
Ex. “This week is a good time to have a detailed discussion over this subject, so would you prefer friday or saturday?”
Ex. “Im sure you will make time for this subject for a detailed discussion on this/that day?”
Always keep in mind that Inviting a Prospect for demonstration/ presentation is a learning process. Practice is the only method that will help you perfect this skill. The more you do, more your learn. There’s no magic pill.Invite Your Prospect- 3 Golden Steps of Effective Prospecting by The Sixth Element (A Nishant K. Makasare Enterprise)
Tip: We humans don’t think alike. Every individual is different and one size doesn’t fit all. Explore, learn and innovate. Make prospecting an enjoyable experience rather than making it methodological. Happy Prospecting..!!!
Read On For a Detailed Learning on
• Effective Sales Presentation- Click on the Link below
• How to Step Up your Sales- 3P’s of Sales Process- Click on the Link below