We get so much about prospecting wrong. We reach out to people who are far outside our ICP, people we should never be talking to, wasting our/their time.
We contact other prospects, only to pitch our products and services, ending with, “Are you interested, can I invite you to a demo.”
We don’t do our homework, we don’t understand the customer, their challenges or where they might be interested in helping.
We inundate prospects with email after email, call after call, LinkedIn messages, texts, everything. We believe “volume” is the path to prospecting success.
And every once in a while, someone may be interested, they say, “Tell me more….” We send content, we invite them to a demo, we put them in our qualified pipeline.
We tend to treat prospecting as an event. We want that one call, where the customer responds, and then says tell me more.
Even if we do that very well, we miss so much opportunity. The only people that are interested in a call are people who have thought somewhat about the problem and may be interested in doing something. Or they’ve already reached out through our web site, generating a lead for us to prospect. Our objective is to get a Yes/No, if we get a No, we move on to the next call.
The reality, is our prospecting should be the start of a series of conversations. Our prospecting has the possibility of addressing a far greater audience, not just those who are already on a buying journey. We have the opportunity, through our prospecting, to incite a customer on a buying journey.
We need to think of prospecting as not just a single call where we get a Go/No-Go response, but as a series of calls where we teach and learn from the customer, where we incite them to change. It’s never a single conversation (unless they are already very late in their buying cycle). It’s a series of conversations, complemented by outreach through complementary channels (web sites, conversations with other customers, relevant content).
Our prospecting/engagement strategies really have to be adjusted. We need to be thinking of a series of collaborative discussions, long before the customer has realized they need to change and committed to that change. Again, there is no “event” that gets the customer to think about a buying journey, but it’s a series of conversations and experiences.
But the payoff is tremendous, we create many more opportunities than we might discover otherwise. We can get a higher response/engagement rate, because we are not focused on “are you ready to buy,” but getting them to think about their goals and how best to achieve their goals.
Are you ready to engage the customer in a prospecting journey?