How do you prospect in the middle of a pandemic? Let me tell you that it definitely requires having a mind for sales. When you believe in what you can do, it is amazing what you can achieve.
Before I get into my list of 10 things, you have to keep in mind that customers have put everything into play. It’s not uncommon to hear that buying decisions that were routine pre-pandemic are ones being struggled over by customers now. Often, customers knew they would always buy from a certain vendor before the pandemic and now they’re choosing to take a look at somebody else. A whole lot of buying decisions have been suddenly thrown up in the air. These are buying decisions that you can turn into sales opportunities and more, but only if you’re out there willing to prospect and make it happen.
Video – Prospecting in a Pandemic:
#1 Outcome Focused
What outcomes are you creating? You have to be very clear about your outcomes and what they are. When you clearly understand not just what you sell, but the outcomes you create, you can begin to focus your message on just that. From the prospecting phase all the way to closing, you must remain outcome focused.
#2 Existing Customers
Right now in this pandemic situation, like I said upfront, customers have a lot of things thrown up in the air, so you better pay attention. You’ve got to pay attention to existing customers, because there may be business that could disappear from you. On the other hand, there could be additional business coming your way. Don’t think for a moment that you can view your existing customers as if they’re in the bank and you don’t have to worry about them. Pay attention!
Now more than ever, referrals will be a expedient way to prospect. You have to be aggressive at asking for referrals. Last week, I put together a video all about asking for referrals. Here’s a link to the video: Using Referrals as Part of Your Prospecting Process. I suggest you watch it.
#4 Old Customers and Prospects
Don’t ignore old customers and prospects that you haven’t had a chance to really do business with. These were customers who, at one point in time, chose not to do business with you. Remember that your name is already established with them. They know you. You’ve been able to establish some level of credibility. Now, you may have an old customer that you feel like you really messed up with them. You have no idea, because again, everything is thrown up in the air. Don’t hesitate for a moment to reach back out to old customers and prospects who haven’t gone anywhere.
#5 Tight ICP
What do I mean by ICP? This is your “ideal customer profile.” You have to stay very tight with this. There is so much opportunity out there. No need for you to spray and pray. That’s not a prospecting strategy- that’s a hope strategy. You want to be tight, because when you’re tight with your ICP, you come across as more confident. Customers want to do business with confident salespeople, because they’re in a state of confusion. More than ever, customers are confused and searching for answers. The more you can be seen as the confident sales person who has the solution, the more likely they are to say, “I’m going to go ahead and buy from you.”
#6 Shorten the Timelines
Shortening the timeline in everything. This means condensing your cadence. Start shortening the timeline in terms of what you’re giving to the customer to allow them to look at what you have. You want to make it so simple and so easy for them, that they can do it all literally in just one or two calls. Make your timeline shorter.
#7 Increase Your Cadence
This one does not run counter to what I just said. What do I mean by increase your cadence? It means you may do 10 steps now in the course of two weeks versus three weeks before. Now you’re going to add another five steps to it so make it 15 steps. Then, you may make it 20 steps.
You see, there’s a lot of noise out there, so you have to be prepared for it to take longer for your prospects be able to hear your message. So, shorten the timeline but don’t hesitate to increase the cadence.
#8 Immediate ROI
Your customer has to see an immediate return on their investment. If they don’t see an immediate ROI, they will not want to do business with you. No customer is sitting there making decisions for two, three, four years down the road. Everybody is making decision for the here and now. You have to be able to demonstrate an immediate ROI to your customer that they can actually achieve. It’s important to remember that they’re not buying from you; the customer is investing with you. They’re investing with you and they want to be able to get some level of return on their investment – fast!
#9 Simplify the Offer
Yes, I understand that this dovetails with some of the other things I’ve said. What do I mean by simplify the offer? Don’t put too many options out on the table. Do not sit there and say, “Well, let’s look at these five things. Or let’s look at…” No, no, no! All that does is confuse your customer. You have to make it as simple as possible.
When you simplify the offer, it’s easier for your message to come through. Too many times we want to show them and wow them with everything that we have. Unfortunately, that only results in slowing down the decision allowing somebody else to get in the door and make that sale. Then, ultimately you lose.
#10 Use Every Channel
This is not a game of just using the telephone or just email or just text messages or only social media. You have to use every medium, every channel possible. Why? Because you don’t know where your prospects are. Remember, you haven’t been talking to them so you don’t know their preferred method of communication. Therefore, you better use every possible way out there.
What does it come down to? It comes down to being able to create trust and confidence. When you create trust and confidence with your prospects, you’ll see how they’ll want to do business with you. I assure you that when you go through these 10 things, you will increase your level of trust and confidence in yourself. Moreover, your message will clearly come through. Your message will be very articulate. It will cut through sharp as you come across as the salesperson who can deliver and make it happen!
I wrote the book of A Mind For Sales that’s filled with information to help you have the right mind. My other book, High-Profit Prospecting, is all about prospecting because it’s just that – high profit prospecting.
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Copyright 2020, 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.