By Jeff Shore
One of the biggest reasons salespeople don’t like to prospect is that they don’t think it’s very much fun. I get it. Working the phones for new business isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people love it, but not everyone. Creativity becomes so important because creative prospecting isn’t just effective; it’s much more fun.
What am I talking about when I say creative prospecting? Let’s dive in.
If you see prospecting as dull, boring, monotonous, and mundane, and you’re simply pounding through your prospecting calls, that’s a real problem. It’s a problem for you, and it’s a problem for your prospect.
I remembered years ago, I purchased a car, and I think it was maybe three years later, I got a call from a salesperson at that dealership who said, “Yeah, you know, this is John calling from the dealership. I just wanted to see if you’re happy with your car and whether it’s time to get something new.” (Please be sure to read this quote in a low monotone voice and don’t you dare smile either)
There was no hiding it. Here’s the new guy who’s put in a desk with a phone and a huge stack of files. He’s been instructed to call these people and ask if they’re ready to buy.
You could almost hear the despair in his voice, like, I know what you’ll say. You’re going to turn me down. It was not fun. It was not pleasant at all to listen to this. Your customers are going to know.
So what do we do here?
Look for Ways to Get Creative with Your Prospecting
The reason that I want you to do this is not just for your customer but for you. Your customer will appreciate the creativity, but it’ll keep you fresh. It’ll keep you with a positive mindset going into your prospecting efforts. So here are some ideas to kind of boost that sense of creativity.
Write a Handwritten Note
If you know that you’ll have a series of calls you’ll make in a few days, why not take some time right now to write handwritten notes to everybody you’re about to call?
Think about it for just a moment. You write a handwritten note and get it in the mail today. They’ll get it tomorrow or the next day. When you go to your mailbox and pick up your mail, and there’s a handwritten note that’s handwritten on the envelope, are you going to open it first? You know, you are because it doesn’t happen that often.
This is a great opportunity. On that note, you’re going to say, I’ll call you in the next couple of days. That’s the idea. You’re letting them know you cared enough to take the time to write a note. Now, it’s not just this cold call out of nowhere. It’s something that was planned for. You’re more likely to make the call in the first place. And they’re more likely to answer. The handwritten note is a lost art that can make a profound difference.
Use Video Messaging
It doesn’t take long. You can record it in about 30 seconds. The beautiful part is if you look and say, I will call you to discuss this in just a few days. That video says that you simply care more than anyone else.
We’re constantly getting bombarded with emails saying, can I talk to you about this? But a video email directed at someone personally means you just flat care more than anyone else. You went that extra mile, and it shows that you’re a nice person, personable, and worth talking to.
Video email or text messaging is a huge way to create a distinct advantage over competitors.
Tap into LinkedIn
LinkedIn is great for expanding your network, but we can often learn what others care about. Most importantly, find a point of commonality. Scroll down and look at their work history, academic history, and who they are connected to and who they follow. Find those points of commonality. It’s a great way to insert yourself into a corner of their life to build that relational connection.
Give Before You Ask
How do you give before you ask? If we can look at it and say, You know what? I was studying this over here, and I thought of you because I know your business. You know, hey, I just noticed something that there’s a trend right now in this industry that I think will apply to your industry over here.
What can you give before you ask? How do you simply make your customer make their life easier? How do you make them more successful? How do you show them that you are an expert that goes far beyond just trying to sell them something? Then your job is to help them with their success.
The last thing I want to suggest is staying away from the formulaic email. It’s dead. Don’t do it. It doesn’t do anything.
I’m going to tell you, as somebody who gets pitched several times a day, I cannot hit the delete button fast enough. I don’t know who these people are. I don’t know where the product is because I don’t read their emails.
I want to suggest if you want to stand out, you have to do something creative. So brainstorm. What does that look like? And make a pact to eliminate those things that everybody else is doing that aren’t working.
You see, this is the mantra of six-figure sales professionals. They do not do what everybody else does, so they get results no one else gets.
Well, I hope that gave you some ideas about getting out of the prospecting rut and enjoying it so much more. What will you do this week to be a more creative prospector?
Remember, when we learn more, we earn more!