Today’s world is cluttered with many different outlets to get our information. We have the nostalgic media outlets of TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, etc., and now included with those are the modern versions – email, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, LinkedIn…STOP!!!! Sometimes it feels like too much clutter, especially in the world of sales. How many more sources of information can we handle? And, more importantly, how do we as professional sales people decipher these different outlets to get the prospect’s attention? What is the magic formula to get that meeting with your prospective client? Do you send him or her an email request? Do you message them on Facebook? Do you tweet them? That will work, right?
For the answer, we must look at our own behaviors first. What is your immediate response to an uninvited connection request? Are you quick to hit the accept or reply button? Does the thought race through your mind, “I can’t wait to meet this person?” Probably not. In fact, if you’re like the majority of people, as most prospects are, the response will be something like, “Who is this weirdo?” So, if that’s the case, then how do we get success? Do we just give up, insisting that the world has changed?
While technology can be a great productivity tool, too many sales people hide behind FEAR (False Expectations Appearing Real) as a crutch, especially when it comes to reaching prospects in the world of technology and social media. But, what if instead of hiding behind technology, we utilized the technology of today to be more productive, using it to follow up with clients, prospect our current clients’ network of friends, and research prospects more effectively, long before the initial face-to-face even happens?
Let me share with you the most effective tool to prospect in the modern era: FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET IN FRONT OF THEM THE VERY FIRST TIME.
Revolutionary concept isn’t it?
Now the skeptics are all saying “Wait a minute Brett, that may work in your field, but mine is a professional field! We don’t show up anywhere uninvited!” But just hear me out for a second. I am not saying you have to ring the doorbell like a traveling vacuum cleaner salesperson throwing dirt on the floor so prospective customers are forced to watch your demonstration. I am simply talking about the timeless value of face-to-face connection, which can be achieved in many ways:
- Find out their social patterns and then happen to be there for an introduction.
- Use technology to find someone who is connected that can potentially set the face-to-face meeting.
- Send them correspondence through traditional mail (the volume of mail is down, making it easier to connect this way today)
- Attend a club or civic organization they are connected with.
- Use a customer for an introduction.
- My personal favorite – show up and ask for a few minutes of their time (not many people do this anymore and it will surprise how well it works).
You see? Technology is a great addition to the sales profession! It allows us to cover more ground more efficiently, increase production, and follow up almost instantaneously, but please don’t let it be a fear crutch.
What are some of your suggestions for modern day prospecting?