Prospecting has never been harder – or easier. Yes, it’s
hard to get responses, but you have all the tools at your
finger tips to increase your odds of grabbing the attention
of your top contacts and getting a reply.
Gone is the dialing for dollars mentality. You can do better
You can use these tools to do everything from identifying
who your best-odds prospects are to deducing why they’d want
to speak with you, writing a powerful email, and ultimately
attracting them to you. Here are some of my favorites.
- Identify the who. Once you know the profile
of the types of contacts and companies you want to approach,
to search and get the names of the best contacts to talk to.
Often you can find contact names by title and department taking
some of the guesswork out of who to approach.
- Delve in. Go a step further and do some research
for the contacts you’ve uncovered on those same sites. What
have they written? Where have they been quoted? You can quickly
get a feel for what’s top of mind with them and where their
passions lie.Research their companies to identify business issues that
will grab their attention. Are their inventory turn times
significantly higher than their competitors? Is their aged
accounts receivable out of alignment for their industry?
Use this information to craft your grabber value proposition
for phone calls and emails. Use it to write blogs or articles
on similar topics. The articles and blog posts will attract
their attention and peak their interest in you. Comment about
your ideas on social networks making you more visible.
- Secure contact info. Start with these same
sites to find the most current contact information for your
target prospects. Jigsaw
are maintained by people like you and me, so they’ve often got
very current information including valuable email addresses.
While you’re there, add a few contacts of your own and earn
points for free contact information downloads.
- Find elusive email addresses.
If you still can’t find an email address
here’s a trick to try. From your search engine type “@their
website domain” and it’ll pull up anywhere on the web where
email addresses for that domain appear. Now you’ll have the
email protocol for that company and can more effectively guess
your contact’s email address. You can also use LinkedIn, Twitter,
Facebook and other social networks to send direct messages within
their networks. These systems break past your prospects’ email
delete barriers when your direct emails do not.
- Watch your prospects. No, we aren’t talking
stalking. Watch what your top prospects are doing using alert
services like Google
Alerts for free. Set up a daily alert and see all
the tweets and comments they’ve made and where they’re mentioned.
You’ll know what to talk about when you call and more importantly,
when they need you to call.
- Make your emails stand out. Use Gobbledygook.grader.com
to pick out trite or hype-filled words and phrases you don’t
even know you’re using. It’s a great tool to increase the impact
of your brochures and online copy, too.
- Know if they’re listening. One of the
biggest challenges with email prospecting is knowing if anyone
has read what you sent. Use ReadNotify.com
to trace email opens and forwards, numbers of times read, and
URL clicks. Use Bit.ly
to shorten long links for social network comments and emails.
You can track how many times the links are opened, forwarded
and by whom.
- Increase your own productivity. If you’re
a Microsoft Outlook user Xobni.com
is a plugin that makes searching your inbox and finding information
about your contacts fast and easy. You can even search social
networks for information about your contacts.
Getting people to reply is the most difficult aspect of prospecting.
These tools give you new levels of information and insight to grab
their attention and increase your odds of success.