Last year you were a star. Everyone in sales thought you were amazing, because of the results you were generating.
The prospecting plan you put together was rocking.
This quarter the results aren’t there.
In fact, they’ve been on a slide most of this year, despite you doing the same thing this year that you did last year.
The answer is simply that you’re trying to win this year using last year’s plan. I hate to break the news to you, but times have changed. If you’re not constantly tweaking your prospecting plan, you’ll wake up one day with big fat zeros in your pipeline.
Three big changes?
First, people are bombarded by even more emails than ever, making it harder to break through. Second, the % of emails read on a smart device continues to grow. Third, nobody is going to respond to any prospecting email without first checking you out on the internet and social media.
Here’s what you need to do ASAP to ensure your prospecting plan fits for today’s world:
Make sure your social media profiles mirror what you’re talking about in your emails.
Naturally this means your LinkedIn profile, but also consider your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media accounts. If your prospect doesn’t feel 100% comfortable about your social profile, you can blow off any chance of ever connecting.
Shorten up your emails. If your prospect is going to read it on a smartphone, you had better make sure your subject line and first sentence are something that will interest them.
Messages sent via social media can and will work. Just remember they will take longer for most people to view them and it also has to be of interest to them. Be sure to use a picture to grab their interest. Same rule applies to posts on your LinkedIn profile.
Just remember social media can be a giant time suck. You must control the amount of time you spend. This is why I advocate doing it in the evening and on weekends.
Connect via referrals. With social media being used as the verification tool by prospects, it makes the need to create referrals even more important. This also includes making sure you have testimonials and the like on your social media pages, if possible.
Increase your frequency of contacts. It’s a noisy world out there and don’t think for a moment that a single message is going to do the trick. Attempt making contact using multiple forms of media.
It’s not a “9 to 5” world anymore. Not everyone works the same days and hours that you do. Many times the weekend email or the weekend social media message will be the one that breaks through. Same goes for early morning or late at night.
Times have changed and will continue to change.
Each of the items I mentioned above may or may not apply to you, but you don’t know until you try. Every market, every industry, every type of prospect is different.
To be successful, you have to try different methods.
Finally, don’t forget that what you find working for you now most likely won’t work for you a year or two from now, so that can only mean one thing — never stop trying different approaches.
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.