When engagement increases, so do sales.
If after the initial contact you lose sight of the plan, you could lose everything. And you can’t afford that.
Cultivating a relationship with a prospect involves time and effort. But there are some simple ways that you can grab their attention, and maintain engagement.
1. Ask the unexpected.
Too many times if you ask canned questions, they lose interest in you.
By asking them an unexpected question, you can truly get them thinking.
Successfully engage with them at a much higher level and the conversation–even the relationship–will change.
2. Involve more people.
Why are you just talking to one person at that company you want to do business with? Be talking to four or five.
If you want to keep the prospect engaged, get multiple people participating. Spread your tentacles throughout the organization.
3. Schedule meetings with a purpose.
Don’t just schedule meetings haphazardly.
“Oh yeah, let’s get together next week at two o’clock, or 10 o’clock, whatever it might be.”
That does you no good. Schedule meetings with a very precise purpose, so they know the intent, and that they’re going to be challenged on their thinking. This comes back to the whole idea of having a clear Call to Action.
Read more about Does My Call to Action Engage the Prospect?
4. Ask for their opinion.
Opinion is one of the most beautiful words. People always want to share their opinion.
What I love to do is ask: “Well, what’s your opinion on this? Let me get your insights on this…I want to understand more clearly how the industry’s moving and what you think about it.”
When you ask for their opinion, don’t just ask for their opinion on your product. That’s stupid. Ask for their opinion on something bigger within the industry, within their supply chain, within the whole scope of things. In fact, when you start placing value in what they’re sharing with you, it’s amazing how much more information they’re going to share with you.
5. Share industry insights.
If they see you as part of their industry, as part of their world, they’re going to be much more receptive to staying engaged with you. They are certainly going to be much more receptive to talking with you.
If you just talk in general terms, it’s irrelevant. But if you start using the vocabulary, the language, and talk about the issues that are happening in their world, it can make a big difference.
6. Answer their questions.
This is so obvious, but what I love about this is they may share something with you in your first call. Then, you come back and say, “Hey, let’s get together. I want to talk. And I got some answers to those questions you had…and that question that you asked prompted me to think of some other questions that we should really address. I want to get your opinion on that.”
You’re valuing them and you’re keeping them in the loop.
7. It’s not about you.
Never start a call talking about yourself, or your company. It’s not about your achievements, or those of your company.
However, it’s okay to say, “Hey, I’ve seen this before.” Or, “I’ve been able to deal with other companies similar to yours with the same challenge.” It’s okay to say these kinds of phrases, because that’s a confirming statement.
However, it would be very different to sit there and say, “Oh well, we’ve been in business for 65 years and we’ve done this and we’ve done that.” Who really cares? They can go out to your website to see that.
It’s okay to offer a confirming statement–and that’s it. Focus more energy and time listening, asking questions, and having a conversation.
8. Use subject matter experts.
I love using subject matter experts. Suddenly, you’re not just a salesperson, but you’re bringing in other people.
You set up a follow-up call and you say, “Hey, I’m going to bring in ‘so-and-so’ from our labs or this tech person, and they’re going to share some additional insights with you.” Then, invite them to bring in other people.
What does this do? This makes the meeting seem more important. This makes the meeting more valuable, because you’re going to get more input.
There are any number of ways to keep the prospect engaged.
This month features a masterclass on how to keep prospects engaged through follow-up. It will go live on September 10th! Content from this blog comes straight from that course. There’s a ton of content in there. I want you to grab it and watch your engagement grow.
There’s always great Masterclasses available at The Sales Hunter University. Last month we did Prospecting Using the Phone. Did you know that Level 3 – All Access members can access any Masterclass, past, present, or future? It’s an amazing benefit in addition to the live coaching, weekly emails, and drop-in office hours. Check it out here.
Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.