It’s not easy. It takes work. Going after potential customers can be the hardest part of growing your business, although some people make it seem like a piece of cake. What are they doing that you’re not?
Learning how to approach a prospect is as much an art as it is a science. Follow these four simple guidelines to increase your chances of getting a warm reception from prospective clients:
Create a Business Prospecting List
Your approach to prospecting for your business can’t be like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks – you must narrow your focus and target relevant organizations, roles, and individuals. Create that qualified business prospecting list:
- Solicit word–of-mouth referrals
- Attend in-person networking events
- Uncover pathways to decision makers with unique platforms like RelSci’s relationship capital software
- Collect contact info on website lead forms
Set (Reasonable) Goals
The next step in how to approach a prospect is creating goals around what you want to accomplish. Remember to keep these reasonable and achievable so you don’t set yourself up for failure. For example:
- How much funding do you have to secure?
- How many deals do you need to close to achieve your funding/financial goal?
- How many meetings are needed to close one deal?
- How many prospects do you need to call to get one meeting?
(Research your industry online to learn what’s typical for the above calculations/numbers.)
Draft a Script
Professional. Intriguing. All the work you’ve done prospecting for your business will be ineffective unless you have a cold-calling script that embodies these things. While you never want to sound like a robot, you do want to be prepared with language that’s just right. Typical scripts include:
- Open-ended questions (don’t do all the talking!)
- Responses to common objections
- Next steps if a prospect is interested
Pound the Pavement
There’s no way around it – cold calling is an unavoidable part of how to approach a prospect. With your potential client list in one hand and your script in another, you’re as prepared as you’ll get. The good news is if you’re using RelSci’s relationship mapping technology, your cold prospects will be much warmer with tangible connections you can tap into when making those calls. (Better yet, these connections could potentially make the call for you.) Consistent follow-up is also part of this step. You’ll need multiple touchpoints before you convert a prospect into a customer or investor.
Learning how to approach a prospect doesn’t have an easy button, but you can use technology like RelSci’s relationship mapping platform to uncover pathways to prospects you never knew existed, and leverage them to make a much warmer introduction.