6 Steps to Easier Sales Prospecting

The easiest way I have found to prospect for new customers is to draw them to me. Here is how I do that.

1 — Create buyer personas
Before you can find more customers, you need to know who your ideal customers already are. And not just know their names and their production, but who they really are. What are their challenges? How they are measured?How do you fit into their picture? Once you have a clear idea of who your very best customers are — then you can figure out how to identify and target others just like them. Those are the prospects you want to find. Click here to see a 7 minute video about how to easily create a buyer persona.

2 — Step up your LinkedIn game
I am amazed at how many salespeople have LinkedIn profiles that are designed for them to find a new job! If your target audience includes future employers, by all means, include your resume in your summary. But if you are looking for more customers, you are really missing some great opportunities by not branding your LinkedIn profile accordingly. The first thing you should do is find out your SSI — your Social Selling Index — click here to see it. Then you can take these simple steps to improve it.

· Include a background photo that visually tells your story.

· Instead of just your title, use that line to also let your future customers know what you can do for them.

· Write a summary that expands on your headline. Instead of writing a summary about what strengths you bring to your employer, write a summary that shows the strengths you bring for your customers. Imagine if you had to pay advertising dollars for that LinkedIn space — how would you use it then? Just because it is free doesn’t mean it has no value. It is great real estate so use it wisely to tell customers why they should contact you!

· Add media. LinkedIn now allows you to add video or PDFs to your profile. Do you have anything that talks about why you (or your product) make sense? Post it!

3 — Grow your LinkedIn contacts
Invite your target audience to connect with you. Write a personal note about why you want to connect. Can’t think of anything? Then at least write this –

Hello NAME,

I recently came across your profile and thought we both might benefit from being connected.

Thank you,

Your name

That’s it, that is probably all you need to triple your connect acceptance rate.

4 — Join some LinkedIn groups that your customers follow
Joining sales groups on LinkedIn is great, but your future customers are probably not there -unless you sell to salespeople. Join a handful of groups and learn about what is important to your customers. Once you get to know the tone of the group, then start chiming in with comments. Eventually you can even add some content.

It is really easy to find out what groups your customers belong to — click on their profile in LinkedIn and scroll down to activities. You can then see what companies they follow and what groups they have joined.

5 — Share Relevant Content — on your news feed, via email and in your LinkedIn groups
What is relevant content? Stuff that your customers will find valuable. Go back to your buyer persona and take a look at their challenges. Post content that solves their problems. It should NOT always be about your product, but it can be sometimes. You don’t have to write your own blog posts or articles (although if you can, that is really helpful too), there is a wealth of great content out there that your customers would love to read. I use tools like Buzzsumo.com or Rightrelevance.com to find great content to share that I don’t have to write.

6 — Embrace technology
There is a LOT of technology around to help you make an impact, learn some! One of my favorites is Snip.ly. Snip.ly allows you to share a great article, written by someone else, but you can insert a little call to action at the bottom with your info – and a link to your website, or to a video you created. Snip.ly also lets you track what people are reading, and how many are clicking through to your website or landing page. Another favorite is Biteable.com. You can create fun “explainer” videos in about 20 minutes. That’s how long it took me to produce this one —

The goal with all of these steps is to drive prospects to you. I still send prospecting emails and make prospecting phone calls — but in truth, I make a lot less than I used to because I practice what I preach so people will often reach out to me. So much easier and more fun!

To learn more steps — join my next 4 part web series. Click here to find out more.

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About the Author

I am the owner of an innovative sales training company - Influencer Sales. We combine technology and the sales process in order to help sellers close more sales. I am the most recent past Chair of the HSMAI Marketing Advisory Board. I ran the sales and marketing efforts for hotels for my first 15 years and then sold training to hotels after that. In the meantime I became a full stack (MERN) developer so I could understand how the internet works!

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