Business to Business [B2B] prospecting can have some unique challenges to it. When you’re working with other businesses, you may find that multiple managers have the authority to make purchases. You may find that only one person has that authority as well. You might wind up with 10 different prospects from the same business and have all of them be profitable or you could strike out completely.
This is why this B2B prospecting tip is the most important: ask questions. If you don’t know who the decision makers are in that company, then all you’ll be receiving are false promises at best. Work only with the people who can buy – not the people who promise that they can buy.
Here are some more B2B prospecting tips that can help you achieve higher levels of success.
1. Make sure you know your objective.
It seems like common sense, but you might be surprised at how many people begin their B2B prospecting by starting randomly and blindly. You don’t need to have a list spelled out that has every specific detail and task that needs to be accomplished, but you do need to know what the end goals of every conversation are going to be. Do you want to leave literature? Have someone download a guide? When you have the objective in sight, you’ll have a better chance for success.
2. Your name matters.
B2B prospects encounter dozens of solicitations every day from people just like you. One of the first screening tools that they’re going to use is to eliminate any communications that look like spam. If you’re using generic web emails like Gmail or Outlook [the old Hotmail], then stop. Your email should come from your business and include your name. It’s even better when it includes your full name.
3. You’ve got 5 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention.
Whether you’ve got a phone conversation going on or you’re sending out a follow-up email, it’s important to remember that you’ve only got 5 seconds to leave a good impression with that B2B prospect. To grab their attention, you’ve got to put the hammer down on the amount of value that you’re able to provide them. A catchy headline, a problem solved, or more incoming revenues that can be generated are all good ways to have people take notice
4. Focus on the relationship.
You can’t really do business on a handshake and a promise these days [unless you own the business anyway], but you can still utilize that concept in how you approach your B2B prospects. People do business based on the promise of a long-term relationship that provides their business with ongoing values. They want to know that you’ll take their concerns personally and that you’ll be a sole point of contact for any problems that they have. Do more than just get to know your prospects by name. Get to know their families, their interests, and even their favorite place to eat so you can keep building upon the foundations that you’ve set. In time, this will eventually pay off.
5. Give your prospects a preview of what to expect.
People might think with their minds, but they shop with their eyes. There’s no better B2B prospecting technique than to give a full demonstration of what you can do for someone. Bring an example of the product you’re trying to sell or offer free samples to an established relationship. Let them try it out in their own business. When they can see that what you’ve got can perform well, then you’ll be on the fast pace to create a new sale.
6. Don’t focus on the sale.
The instant you make B2B prospecting about you, the prospect is going to leave. No one cares how awesome your sales career has been or that you’re planning a trip to Bermuda. They don’t even want to know about all of the “exciting” and “innovative” ways your stuff can help them. They want to see value, nothing more and nothing less. Provide them this value, give them information about cost, and then let your prospects make up their own minds. If you turn down the volume on your rhetoric, you’ll sales volume will begin to quickly climb.
B2B prospecting can be time consuming work, but it can also be highly profitable when performed correctly. Use these tips to kickstart your prospecting efforts today and the revenues might just start rolling in more consistently.