Getting sales meetings with new prospects is not easy. They have no idea who you are, are overwhelmed with work, can't imagine taking on another project, and are happy with the status quo. It takes tremendous effort to get prospects to understand the benefit of making a change and then get them to actually move forward with a new idea.
If you jump in and start calling on prospects without a solid plan for what you're going to do and say to pique their interest, you will fail. Here are 3 tips for creating a strategic prospecting plan that will help you secure more sales meetings.
1. Become Your Prospect
Seriously. Step back, close your eyes, and become your prospect. What would it take to get a meeting with you? When I put myself in the shoes of the prospect and think about things from their perspective, here's what goes through my mind:
- Connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter, participate in one of my LinkedIn group discussions, or endorse me on LinkedIn. Show me that you're interested in learning something about me and you know who I am.
- I'd prefer a few warm-up emails so that when you call, I have an idea of who you are and what you want.
- The emails should be extremely short and high-value. They should have fresh ideas about how I can more effectively accomplish my business goals. (Yes, you should be able to assume some things about my business goals even if we haven't talked yet.)
- If you're going to call me in the middle of my workday, you better have something VERY interesting and relevant to tell me.
- Don't expect me to make a decision about meeting with you right out of the gate. I need time to absorb what you're telling me.
- Keep providing me with information until I start getting what you're saying. It may take a while for it to sink in, and I start to feel the pain of the status quo.
2. Have a Lead Nurturing Content Library
The best way I can think of to take a prospect who is not currently in the sales process to one that is interested in hearing more about what you have to say is to nurture them with the right information. Send them targeted articles, ebooks, etc., that help them start to understand their issues better. You want them to start feeling uncomfortable with their current situation.
You need to think about what content you can create that will guide your prospects through the sales process. Then, work with your marketing team to develop your content library. It may take some time to get it right, but once you're on that path, there'll be no turning back.
3. Use HubSpot Sales
One tool that is a HUGE help is HubSpot Sales. It tells you when prospects are opening your emails or viewing the information you send. It tells you if they're even remotely interested in what you have to say.
For example, if you send a prospect 5 emails with awesome articles that are relevant to their situation, and the person never once opened or clicked on anything you sent, that tells you volumes about your chances of getting a sales meeting. If a prospect opens every one of your emails and clicks on the links you send, the conversation you have when you call them will be totally different.
Prospecting is not a dial-for-dollars game anymore. Sure, if you make enough calls, you'll find prospects that are in the sales process and will be able to secure some meetings.
The problem with that approach is that if they're already in the sales process and you're not one of the companies on their "list," you're in a down position right out of the gate. The prospect already has ideas about what they want and who they want to work with, and you've had no influence on their decision-making. You have to fight your way to the top.
If you want to get sales meetings with new potential customers, you need to take a strategic approach.