1: Prospect in less packed places
When most people look to start prospecting they look for the spot with the most people. Example, most people would start with a place like LinkedIn. Great place if you goal is to find the MOST people in one spot. The down side is that there are so many and it’s so noisy that it’s really had to get anyone’s attention at first. The people there are bombarded by invites, messages, paid ads, etc. Again, not a bad place but understand what you are up against. One of the things I look for is how many people are scratching and fighting over the same breadcrumbs? Maybe breadcrumbs is a bad choice of words to describe a 200mm vertical but maybe it’s not. Would you rather compete with 10 guys bigger than you over a 20 oz. steak or 5 guys your size over a 10 oz steak?
We did this with Leading Edge Connections. We looked at the outsourcing world and saw everyone fighting over the same stuff, aka breadcrumbs. We were too small to get a word in, and even if we did the margins would be so low it didn’t make sense to us. We looked for under serviced lines of business, types of business and solutions for businesses. We looked at other outsourcers and said “your garbage is our gold”. The people they wouldn’t talk to, we talked to. The stuff they would literally throw away was our new target market. There was plenty, and that’s how we got our ball rolling.
You may have to fight for attention but look around to find out where it’s not so crowded and loud. I told a guy one time to think of it this way. If you were at a huge event and you wanted to meet the lead singer in the band, would you stand in the 40th row and yell hoping he heard you over everyone else? Or would you find out where he would be after the show and try to catch him walking in his hotel or at the restaurant? He’s never going to hear you in the crowd, but up close — if you can get him with less people around. That’s where you can get his attention and he can hear you.
2: Tap a relevant case study in your communication
Even if you look for prospects on less obvious platforms and places, chances are that people from your list get a several cold emails and calls a day anyway. To get noticed your message will have to stick out.
I don’t want to mislead you. There is no single silver bullet here, but one trick for catching your prospects’ attention may be mentioning an example of how a similar company experienced success with your product or service.
You probably experienced something like this in your life too: your buddy tells you about this new supplement that helped him with losing body fat and you thought you’re going to try it too and check how it works for you.
The same approach works in sales. Trustable relatability! A relevant case study can kick-start your prospect’s interest and trigger the bandwagon effect: if this product helped their industry peer, why not give it a try? The fertile soil of curiosity has been planted.
Note: If you mention your successful client’s story in your email copy, make sure to avoid SPAM-trigger words, such as %, 100%, increase or free trial. If there’s no way to get around them, paste a link to a case study instead.
3: Mirror your communication to the recipient
The same message rarely resonates equally with a C-level executive and a Director of Marketing. That’s because they have totally different perspectives on what the company does and they also have different pain points, agendas, and needs. Especially in bigger companies with complex corporate structures.
So to make your message hit the right chord, tailor it to the decision-maker you’re reaching out to. Give them that moment of familiarity when they read a message from you. When they’re able to relate to your message, they are more willing to schedule a call with you to learn more about your product or service.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are a number of times where you’re not sure who the decision-maker is? Not to worry! You can target both a CEO and a Director, but do not send them identical messages. Use custom snippets to tailor the email copy to each prospect.
4: Be friendly to your old buddies Testing and Experimenting
I don’t mean to disappoint you but as i mentioned earlier, there are no single silver bullets. But, if you search and explore you will find that there are enough of them to fill your six shooter. Every business is different. Every target group is different too. You need to do your homework and test what approach works in each of your cases.
While experimenting, pay attention to the time suck in preparing a particular campaign takes for you. Don’t waste time on things that don’t pay off and don’t stick with one approach too long if it isn’t working. Test and move.
Test various subject lines, different email copy versions, CTAs, sending schedules and monitor your stats like a scientist to figure out what works best in your case.
Batter UP! Now it’s your turn!
Prospecting isn’t something you can solely learn from a book. It’s a process that requires some hands-on learning, hard work and out-of-the-box thinking. Many people waste a ton of time looking for Thor’s hammer in the woods (that silver bullet) and fail because they fail to realize that it’s not just one thing but a sequence of strategically executed items that leads to turning no prospects into a pipeline of gold. For a large number of companies out there, today’s prospecting world is too much and the learning curve is too long. They are humble and smart enough to realized outsourcing this portion of their business may be the best option. If you would like to explore how outsourcing your prospecting functions could help your business grow and gain the ROI you need we at Leading Edge Connections would love to speak with you.
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