5 Unusual Techniques for
Prospecting – That Work
by Rhys Metler
You need to keep your pipeline filled with prospects. It can never go dry. Unfortunately, sales prospecting is one of the top challenges that sales people face today. The problem is that a lot of sales reps just don’t know what to do in terms of prospecting. Their current techniques for prospecting don’t work effectively. And people are ignoring phone calls and turning on their spam filters.
If the typical great sales prospecting methods aren’t working, then you need to try something new if you expect to get better results and bring in a steady stream of potential customers.
Use these unusual techniques for prospecting and stand out from the crowd.
1. Look at Former Customers
Most likely, your techniques for prospecting are all based on gaining new business. But what if you try to talk to former customers instead? After all, you already know that they’re interested in what you sell. And some might be ready to buy again or ready to try something new. Your former customer base could be your best source of leads.
2. Be a Video Star
Your sales prospecting emails might not be getting the best open rate. People might not be responding to your sales emails. This is a common problem. A great way to get your emails to stand out from the sea of other sales people—a great way to get them opened—is to become a video star. Instead of typing out an email, shoot a video of you saying a few words. Introduce yourself, educate the prospect, add some value.
Online video has exploded. It’s now the most wanted and the most consumed type of content online. A simple video can help you boost your email engagement rate.
3. Leverage Your Lost Deals
Though some lost deals might have been long shots anyway, there were probably some that you were really close to getting, but couldn’t close in the end. Look back at these lost deals. There may be prospecting opportunities in there. Perhaps the timing was just off or there was just one decision maker who nixed the deal. Find out what went wrong and try to resurrect the deal.
If you know that one contact at the company really wanted to move forward with you and truly believed in your offering’s value, but the corporate powers decided it wasn’t a good idea, that contact could be a great source of referrals. Call them up and ask if they know anyone that could use your help with a similar problem.
4. Partner with Other Sales Reps
We know that you’re a lone wolf. We know that sales people rarely work with other sales people. But doing so is actually one of the best techniques for prospecting. By creating alliances with non-competing sales reps, you’ll gain access to each other’s circle of trust. You might be able to partner on the same sales. And you’ll dramatically increase the number of people you can network with and sell to. The more prospects that aren’t right for you that you give away to these new allies, the more you’ll get in return, too.
5. Ask for Introductions
If you’re having trouble getting in contact with senior decision makers, sometimes all you have to do is ask for an introduction. The next time you meet a business contact, former colleague, or friend for lunch, make the simple request of being introduced to their CEO, VP of Marketing, etc. Don’t just barge in or demand it though—make sure you have your friend’s permission. And don’t try to sell during this first meeting. Once the introduction has been made, you’ve warmed up that lead and it’ll be easier to nurture that decision maker later on.
These techniques for prospecting might seem unusual—but they’ve worked for a lot of sales people. And they might just work for you, too.
Rhys Metler is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.