5 Proven Prospecting Methods to Increase Your Sales

What separates the best from the rest? In a study of salespeople nationwide in various industries, it was revealed that the average salesperson spends 55% of their time managing accounts and 10% of their time prospecting. The top 5% of reps, on the other hand, spent an average of 25% of their time managing accounts and 50% of their time on prospecting. The most successful salespeople spend nearly five times as much time prospecting for new business as the average salesperson does.

How do we keep prospecting fresh? What is the best way to gain new business? How do we create multiple paths to get in front of new business? Every day companies are looking for strategy and tactics to execute. Here are 5 proven prospecting methods that are sure to be effective for you.

  1. Cross-selling to current clients: The main struggle here is that the average rep doesn’t want to appear pushy or greedy. They are content with the business already coming in from the client, and don’t want to rock the boat. Your current clients already love you, though, and you can always find additional ways you can help them. Have the conversation. The more you help your clients, the harder it is for them to leave.

  2. Referrals: New business is good, but every salesperson needs new clients in order to stay viable. Are your people actively asking for referrals from current clients? Most reps say they receive referrals and they believe they are doing well. 60% of your clients will give you a referral, but usually not unless you ask. Also, if you are only getting a name to call on, this is nothing more than a cold call in disguise. Politely ask the client to set it up for you to help ensure it is a qualified lead.

  3. Strategic partnerships: Does your team have relationships with other sales professionals who call on similar clients? Today it is more difficult than ever to reach someone on the phone. How are you bypassing this? By establishing credibility with other reps you can push and pull each other into accounts. This doesn’t happen overnight, but with patience and proper execution it can prove to be very profitable.

  4. Networking: If not executed properly this method can be a huge time waster that appears to be very productive. But if done right, traditional networking can be a useful prospecting tool. Are your people in the right groups? Do they know how to describe the characteristics of an ideal client and the questions to ask? If not, they may be wasting their time, and yours.

  5. Cold calls: A lot of self-proclaimed sales experts say cold calling is dead. If you don’t have a referral into a company, don’t know anyone who knows the prospect who you are wanting to target and they never attend an event, how else are you going to get in front of them? When done right, cold calling can be just as valuable as any other strategy.

Too often companies find themselves relying on a single source to gain new business. If you find yourself implementing multiple ways to gain new business, it is easier to find yourself investing more time to prospect since the results will follow. Does your sales strategy have what it takes?

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