The Complete Guide to Prospecting for Sales Using Proven Outreach Techniques

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€

Table of Contents

  • What is Sales Prospecting?
  • What are the best ways to prospect in sales?
  • I would recommend three things to other sales managers:
  • Three sales prospecting techniques are cold calling, lead generation, and referral marketing.
  • The prospecting methods that are most effective for sales people include cold calling, networking events and trade shows.
  • Key Takeaways

What does Sales Prospecting means?

Prospecting is the first step in sales. This article will discuss how to identify potential customers by employing various tactics.

What is prospect in sales? Prospecting is the process of finding potential customers by building a database. Once you have your list, it’s time to contact them with an organized and targeted pitch.

How To Successfully Prospect In Sales?

How to prospect for sales? When you are trying to find a prospect, it is important to use these strategies. They will help the process and make sure that your time is not wasted. Here are the best practices for prospecting.

Making Phone Calls

When someone answers the phone, start with a question about their day and then ask them what they do for work. Finally, find out if there is anything you can help them with in order to add value.

Automated voicemail messages

Create voicemail messages that will make the recipient want to either visit your website or call you back. The goal is for them to respond in some way.


Asking for a response from the reader is key to your success. In order to do this, you must appeal emotionally and provide information that will inspire them.

Use Direct Mail

You can design a flyer or postcard that contains enticing content to persuade an individual to buy the service.

Once you have created your list of prospects, it is time to get in touch with them. You can do this by following up on their LinkedIn profile or sending an email. 

The Best Practices for Sales Prospecting

I reached out to my mentor, Jim Durham. He told me that he used LinkedIn sales prospecting in his career and it had been very successful for him.

When I was asked to introduce myself and mention that my boss knows them, it seemed like an easy way for me to start building relationships with people in the industry.

After this, I learned some sales prospecting tips.

1. Show Me You Know Me SMYKM

The very first successful prospecting in sales is the SMKYM. I have found that the acronym SALES is a key to sales. SALES stands for:- Selling – Asking questions and listening carefully, instead of just talking about yourself – Leveraging relationships with your customersclients by asking them how they are doing or what’s new in their lives?

When you are the customer, a successful sales process feels like somebody has already done all of your research and found what is best for you. It doesn’t feel like “prospecting” at all.

When you are speaking with a potential customer, be sure to ask them about their pain points and offer solutions for each problem they mention. Be clear in your explanation of the solution so that it is understandable.

One way to motivate your prospects is by relating their pain points and showing how you have helped a client with the same problem. For example, if they are interested in buying something from you, show them that we can help solve whatever issue they’re having.

2. Your subject line is ENTIRELY IMPORTANT.

I found that my first emails were not as effective because I was only mentioning Jim towards the bottom of them, rather than making him a central focus.

I was trying to sell my product, but then I added a little extra incentive by saying that Jim is a friend of mine.

I made the mistake of testing pay and commission structure for my first salespeople, but I learned that base salary was not enough to keep them motivated. As soon as I changed this, they started responding better in email correspondence.

Like many of your prospects, I receive about 100 emails a day that are sent to me by people who arent even on my contact list. The subject line is the first thing that you look at before deciding whether or not to open it.

There is a downside to this situation because I may be in the market for what they are selling, but if an email doesn’t get my attention right away then it won’t matter.

3. Your first sentence is nearly as critical.

It’s easy to overlook the importance of your prospects reading what you send them. It is important for both those on a computer and mobile device, as it can be more difficult to scroll through emails at smaller screens.

If I want to be successful in sales, the best way is to make my subject line stand out. Its what people see before they decide if they should delete or not.

Be upfront with the prospect when you are writing this first statement. It should be clear to them what they will receive if they sign up for your service.

People often make a decision whether to read your email or not within the first few seconds. To be successful, you need to catch their attention.

Try to write in a way that is easy for the reader. If you use confusing terms, they will not understand what your are trying to say and may lose interest.

So, to summarize this point with the least amount of words possible.

4. Not everyone has a Jim in their life

However, there are tools like LinkedIn and Twitter that you can use to your advantage. If someone is looking for a job on these sites, they will be more inclined to reply if the subject line includes SMYKM: Situation (what I’m currently doing), My skillset (my experience in this field) and what’s next?

If you are delivering a message, make sure to use all the resources available. Whether it is social media or your website, find out everything about prospects and their needs.

Connect with prospects through social media and other platforms to find out their pain points. Once you have a clear understanding of what they need, work on a plan that will address those needs.

If you are not sure how to provide a service, use Google for information.

With the help of this new information, you can create more effective email campaigns and other communications to bring in higher sales numbers. The research will show that your efforts are paying off.

5. SMYKM can be achieved in a different of ways

I coach my reps to find out what the prospect’s previous employers were like. Here are some questions they should ask:

  • Are they a current client?
  • Did that prospect go to the same school as you?
  • What does that person do in their spare time?

Another way to find commonalities is by looking for any awards theyve won or content that has been published across social media.

One side tip on that last remark. I once found a great article by CEO, published in Twitter and sent it to one of my former salespeople who is now working for another team. The article was about how prospects should approach C-Suites with the right mindset, but not just blindly send out cold emails.

I sent the article to my rep and told him, This is gold use this to reach out! Instead of reading it for himself, he forwarded the email with a few comments.

The CEO told the salesperson not to do a certain thing, but they did it anyway. He said that you need to be careful with what references you use when pitching your product.

6. Stretch yourself

When you hire an SDR, remember that they have access to the same resources as your competitors. They can do research and find out what prices are competitive in their market.

When aim for prospect delivering success, you need to think strategically about who you are reaching out to. It’s not enough just offer the same old service with an updated price tag.

When I first started my company, one of the dream titles was director or above in demand generation. If a rep emails this person they need to follow SMYKM but also be extremely value driven.

What are the email messages that reps send to their prospects in order to convince them they’re worth of time?

Salespeople need to demonstrate the value they provide and display intelligence that will convince prospects. It is easy for salespeople to get lazy with their messaging, but they have to be smart about it.

7. Dont be basic, be a little extra.

In order to find a prospect, you need to do your research and make sure that the person or company you are contacting is someone who will be interested in what you have. You cant just spam people with flyers because they won’t appreciate it.

If they are not marketing to a global audience, find an article that specifically discusses how to scale content across different cultures. Find something in their social media posts or articles about the struggles your prospects have had and answer it with data from your companys documentation.

If you can consistently SMYKM, there is still room to improve. Take your now ultra-effective outreach and create systems that will help grow it.

To find out what motivates your employees, you need to think outside the box. Look at other companies and see how they solve their customers’ problems. Then fill in any gaps that might exist.

For example, if a competitor has already fixed an issue after several complaints were made about it and your client is still suffering from the same problem, you should fix this as soon as possible.

Three Prospecting Techniques

To get better results from sales prospecting, you need the following three prospecting tips and tricks

1. Focus on the Right Sales Prospects

A prospecting database is key to your success. How strong are the people in it? Have you targeted serious prospects who would be likely customers for your product or service?

If you are looking for a job, do not target the bottom of an organization. You will have to wait longer and may never get a response from those who would be your supervisors if hired.

You need to build your competency in initiating phone calls with potential clients. Schedule appointments and take the initiative when opening relationships with prospects, because cold calling is necessary for sales reps.

When you practice, your skills will increase and the time it takes to get a good response from prospects decreases.

2. Create The Right Offer

Carefully design your offers to attract customers. If you are offering a service, craft an offer that is irresistible and will not be resisted by the prospect. Similarly, package your product in such a way as to catch people’s attention and provide reasonable prices so both parties benefit.

If you lie to your prospects about a product or service, they will not trust you. And if there is no integrity in the relationship between vendor and customer, then it won’t last long.

A sale is a big decision for the customer. When they decide to buy your product, it’s because you’ve earned their trust by being honest and providing all of the information that they need in order to make an informed purchase.

When you withhold information from your prospects, it will hurt the way that business runs. You’ll lose money and have a worse reputation.

3. Always Follow Up, Follow Up, and Follow Up

If you want to succeed in sales, it is important that your customers feel like they are a priority. Make sure you keep an open line of communication and maintain this as the relationship grows.

The way to improve sales conversations is by making sure you ask the right questions. The more specific and tailored your questions are, the better off they will be because it shows that you care about what matters most to them.

When it comes to sales, what is the prospect looking for? The best way to find out this information is by asking them and listening carefully. When you’re able

Prospecting Methods To Use in Sales

I had to find out about the newest technology and market trends in order to compete with online sellers. To get more sales, I started using these new sales prospecting activities and methods.

1. LinkedIn Prospecting

With LinkedIn, you can find and connect with people all over the world without worrying about geographical boundaries. Millions of people check their account for information that will help them get services or products more easily. This makes it a great opportunity to have creative ways to prospect.

It is important to join relevant groups that will increase the chances of you connecting with suitable prospects. If your target organization, for example, belongs to a certain group on LinkedIn or Facebook then it’s crucial that you also become an active member there.

If you want to stay on top of your competitors, current clients and potential customers then sign up for this platform. You can use the information provided here in order to track them down, identify who they are connecting with and what content they’re posting.

2. Referrals

When it comes to prospecting, you are going to have a leg up on the competition because of your relationship with people that already know and trust you. They will be more likely than someone cold-calling or emailing just out of nowhere.

If you are aiming to work with a new company, try getting introductions from your current clients. This will help establish trust and understanding of the needs in their industry.

3. Content Marketing

In order to keep your current customers happy and looking forward to the future, it is important that you stay in contact with them. You can do this by providing information about products or services without selling anything. This will allow you a chance for marketing.

Instead of pitching to customers, you will be talking with them and educating them. This rapport-building is the key to better business deals.

4. Attend Beneficial Events

I recommend going to events that your target prospects attend. Events are a great place for networking and meeting new people who may be interested in what you have to offer.

You can find events that your competitors are attending by checking their websites and social media platforms.

To find out what events your target prospects are attending, you can ask current customers or search the internet for their upcoming plans. If you feel uncomfortable asking, just do a Google search to see if they have any social media accounts that might reveal information about future activities.

5. Cross-selling to Current Clients

This is a great prospecting method for salespeople who are not afraid of appearing pushy. When the client already trusts you, use your connections to build up your business.

Here are some great prospecting ideas to try:

  • I have found that when I create different templates for prospecting, it is easier to write emails with a clear focus.
  • Test your subject lines and templates to see which ones get the best response rates.
  • To find out how long it takes to reach your audience, send more than one email.
  • There are a number of different channels that can be explored to reach out.

Key Takeaways

  • I once had a sales prospect who told me that I didnt have anything to offer them. They said they were open minded and willing to hear what I had, but when it came down to the specifics of my pitch, there was nothing for them in exchange.
  • You have to figure out what you and the prospect have in common so that they are more likely to buy from you. You can be creative with this.
  • The best way to get someone’s attention is by starting with something that you know about them.
  • When communicating with a prospect, you need to show that you know what they are going through and can relate.
  • The subject line and the first sentence are essential to grab attention.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.