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How to do Prospecting at Business Events – A Three Phase Approach

How to do Prospecting at Business Events – A Three Phase Approach

Business Events are great platforms to foster new relations and nurture the existing ones. Leverage them effectively.

One of the key components of the Annual Marketing Budget of any organization is participation in business events.

Tradeshows, exhibitions, conferences, seminars; all these fall into this category. Business events are great platforms for companies to tell the market about themselves.

They present to you an opportunity to interact with your prospects (decision makers), study your competitors, establish new partnerships, meet your existing customers, compile your sales and marketing intelligence and most importantly understand the changing landscape of your target markets.

Sales and Marketing professionals will, however, agree that sales prospecting at business events is the top most objective for them because that alone will result in quick revenue.

The other activities are important mainly from a branding and relationship management perspective.

Business events can be revenue aggregators, if planned and executed properly. However, the flip side is the costs associated; Exhibiting / Sponsor costs, collateral costs, travel and accommodation costs and much more. 

This actually means that your participation in any event is fruitful only, if you are able to create a healthy prospect funnel out of every event that you plan to attend, which will result in improved ROI.

Here is a three-phase approach that is recommended for every professional who wants to make the best out of any business event

Prospecting Before the Event

“The Key is to build B2B Contact Lists”

One of the key things for any business development professional is, to have a calendar filled with appointments with your prospects. Every event will have a dedicated portal, active for a few months, before the event where in the list of participating companies will be made available.

You must build the entire B2B contact list and identify the “MUST MEET” companies at the event. If you are lucky, you may also find the names of the representatives of those companies.

If you notice that the representative is the decision maker you wish to meet, you will need to make an appointment via email or phone. That way you have fortified a sales prospecting opportunity.

In case you only have the company’s name, you can use LinkedIn to identify the decision maker within that company.

You can check with the decision maker if you can have a meeting at the event or ask for reference for the meeting with the representative.

Another important step is to run a campaign to all your prospects informing them about your presence. You need to tell them your location and invite them to meet you. Email marketing, tele-calling, banner advertisements and so on could be some techniques. Another method is to direct message your decision makers on LinkedIn.

Prospecting During the Event – Prospecting for Business

“The Key is Prospect Research”

The major challenge during the event is that the time to speak to your decision maker / prospect is extremely limited. More often than not, you will find people waiting outside the booth for you to finish the meeting.

After all, no one would want to let go off such an opportunity. One of the key things that will make your meetings more meaningful is when you so a thorough prospect research well in advance.

You need to equip yourself with as much information as possible about your decision maker before the meeting. To put it simply, you must have a 360 degree view of your prospect.

It would be a very good idea to start the meeting saying “Hey, I read your blog post on managing sales pipeline. I think it was pretty impressive; I second the point where you spoke about targeted lead generation. I am here to talk to you about this. My software actually eases the process of lead gen and helps you in targeted prospecting”.

For tips on knowing more about your prospects, Read my blog on Effective Prospect Research

Post Event – Prospecting for Business

“The Key is Planned Follow Up”

Lot of sales professionals do an extremely good job in generating warm leads during the events. However, the percentage of conversion is usually not as expected. One of the primary reasons is insufficient follow up.

You need to understand that even for your prospect; the excitement pertaining to the event fades away once he is back to work. It is your job to remind your prospect of what was discussed and move things forward.

It is very unlikely that your prospect will come back to you saying “Hey, nice to meet you during the XYZ event, I wish to purchase your software. Here is the purchase order”.

This will not happen. You need to follow up with your prospects. Another aspect of sales prospecting is touching base with those prospects that you never got to meet during the event.

Most of the trade shows make directories available to you (some of them charge you, worth the spend). Buy one such directory and contact the other prospects whom you have never got to meet.

Email or call them and refer the event as a talking point, “Hey I was there at the XYZ event, but could not catch up with you, I think you would be interested in learning about our unique social prospecting tool, can we talk?”.

The Smart Way – Prospecting for Business

We have a sales prospecting software called eMail-Prospector which eases the whole process of prospecting for events that you attend.

Our tool helps you in getting the list of business email addresses and phone numbers of your prospects. By generating such lists, you can easily set up prior appointments over email or phone campaigns.

Moreover, it gets you the 360 degree view of our prospect, their website, social presence, LinkedIn information etc which you can use to strike our conversations with your prospects.

Post the event, you can use the same tool to build the B2B contact lists of other prospects whom you may have missed meeting during the event.

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How to Do Prospect Research – For Better Sales Calls and Improved Conversions

How to Do Prospect Research – For Better Sales Calls and Improved Conversions

In our last blog, we saw how you can leverage social networks to identify and contact C-Level decision makers in your prospective companies. You saw a few techniques on how you can leverage LinkedIn to establish an initial contact and thereon continue the dialogue over your prospect’s business email.

Let us now try and understand what you need to do once your prospect is ready to hear your proposition. One of the most common mistakes that sales professionals commit is to try and make every sales call the same. We must realize that your prospects may be similar, but are not the same. Hence every sales call you make needs to be different and tailor-made to the individual needs of your prospect. The end objective of any sales call is to propose a solution that the prospect wants, but not the one that you have.

If you’re looking to find verified business Email Address & Phone Numbers of your prospect in less than 30 seconds. You could try our free Email Finder Tool – Get your Free Trial Today!.

Follow these simple steps to make your sales call a worthy one.

Know Your Prospect

One of the key steps in sales prospecting is to gather as much information as possible about your prospect. You need to get a 360 degree view of your prospect, the industry they operate in, their target customers, their possible business challenges, their growth plans and so on. By being well informed of the prospect, you have better chances of having the prospect hear you better. A few places where you can find some information about your prospects are being presented below. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good starting point, for sure.

Research The Company

Company website – You need to understand your prospect’s line of business, what is their business objective, what could be their biggest challenge and what is their value proposition to their customers, and how you will contribute in helping them achieve their business goals.

Examine who their customers are, what problem of their customers are your prospects trying to address, and how can you help them in solving those problems. By having all this handy, your sales call will turn out to be more of a requirements gathering meeting than a typical pitching.

Research the Professional Side of the Decision Maker

LinkedIn profiles – One of the key forums that sales professionals need to leverage in a B2B prospecting framework is LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile will tell you what kind of a person your prospect is. Read through the profile. Observe the groups subscribed to; read the discussions where you see some participation, see if you have some common connections who can write a nice line about you even before the meeting. Examine if your prospect is asking questions pertaining to some challenge and if you can solve that challenge. All these small things make you more familiar to your prospect even before the call. You would have figured out your call opening statement.

Research the Personal Side of the Decision Maker

Blogs– Sales prospecting can be more meaningful when you also know what kind of a person your prospect is. If your prospect is a blogger, it is worth spending time reading through those blogs. The choice of words will give you an idea on how you should moderate the call with your prospect. If the content is extremely professional and brief to the point, you should adopt the same strategy during your call / meeting. If you find liberal dosages of humour, you can adopt a more friendly approach. A nice way to start the conversation would be to congratulate your prospect for a recent achievement.

The Smart Way

We have a fantastic prospect research tool – eGrabber eMail Prospector – that will get you the business information about any prospect from any nook and corner of the Internet. The best part about this is it can get you the business email addresses and phone of the prospect in a jiffy. This means your time to research and search for information about your prospect is significantly cut down and you have more time to focus on preparing for every call.

Experience the tool

In a nutshell, research well, talk to your prospect in his language and make “prospect research” a part of your working style. Believe me, your prospects will enjoy talking to you and your sales become a cake walk.

Happy Selling!!

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LinkedIn alone is “NOT” enough for Sales Prospecting

LinkedIn alone is “NOT” enough for Sales Prospecting

I am sure a lot of sales professionals try using LinkedIn for sales prospecting and selling.

We have numerous articles, white papers, posts and literature that emphasize on how you can use LinkedIn as an effective selling platform.

However, there are some golden rules you must follow to be able to identify, engage and follow up with your prospects for quality lead pipelines and improved sales conversions.

If you’re looking to find verified business Email Address & Phone Numbers of your prospect found on LinkedIn. You could try our free Email Finder Tool – Get your Free Trial Today!.

LinkedIn Prospecting

Here is a quick 5-point guide that will help business development professionals to achieve this

  1. Build a prospect list that your competitors do not have. For all that you know, you may be the first and or only one to contact them
  2. Always try and contact the decision maker directly rather than having to go through silos
  3. Use a mix of traditional and contemporary sales prospecting techniques such as cold calls, emails, and other social networks
  4. Tailor make the message for each prospect after a thorough research
  5. Plan and implement a prospect follow up calendar

Well, on the surface, these may appear to be very plain and simple. As you dig deep, you will realize that each one is important in its own way. Let me touch upon each of these points in a little more detail.

Building Exclusive Lists– With platforms such as LinkedIn offering you multiple search criteria, you can always play around to identify prospects that do not fall into the “OFTEN CONTACTED” category.

You can refine your search based on a multitude of criteria such as titles (special titles), location (suburbs), and industry verticals and so on.

Reaching Decision Makers – With the ever growing popularity of social networks, especially, LinkedIn, you now have almost full information about the decision maker.

Their LinkedIn profiles should give you some insights on how you can position yourself.

You can try and engage them on LinkedIn through the direct messaging feature or contact them over business email.

Use Social platforms – You should try investing more time in researching your prospects.

Apart from LinkedIn, you should leverage social media to know more about your prospect. It helps to study their blogs, website, twitter, face book and other social profiles and engage with them.

Well, calling or cold emailing is still not a dead method. However, social networks are certainly better starting points.

Messaging – You will be able to tailor make your message better when you have a 360 degree view of your prospect.

My famous method is always to compliment the decision maker on a recent achievement. It shows you really want to engage with them.

I believe and advocate the fact that effective prospect research is the first starting point for a sales dialog.

Follow Up – Most prospects go cold because sales professionals fail to follow up enough.

A recent study showed that around 30% conversions happened on the 15th contact.

You need to have a calendar in place and follow up till you get an answer. It is either a YES or a NO. It cannot be anything else.

eMail-Prospector Pro is a LinkedIn prospecting tool used by 100s of sales, marketing and business development professionals to find and reach C-level executives / decision makers from social networks, company websites and from any online directory/listing.

The sales prospecting tool helps you find business email addresses and phone numbers of any prospect in no time.

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How to generate leads from LinkedIn Saved Searches

How to generate leads from LinkedIn Saved Searches

LinkedIn indisputably is one of the largest database of C-level decision makers and it is one of the best places to generate leads. It lets you search for your target prospects based on a multitude of search criteria such as title, industry, company size and other demographics. Sales professionals today have the flexibility of using several combinations of their search, build multiple sets / categories of prospect lists and generate leads from LinkedIn.

While this is a good feature, what makes it better is when you use the Saved Search feature. The Saved Search Feature in LinkedIn sends matching profiles to your email inbox on a periodic basis. It’s like having lead-gen on automatic mode!

Look at the simple 3-step illustration below to know how you can generate leads from LinkedIn Saved searches.

Step-1: Search for your target prospects

LinkedIn Sales Navigator enables you to search for your targeted prospects using search filters.

Let us try and search for “Vice President”. Select your preferences based on title, location and other demographics. After using relevant search filters, click Search.

generate leads from LinkedIn

Step-2: Click Save search of your results page

LinkedIn displays the results based on the search criteria. Click on Save search on the top right side of your results page.

How to generate leads from LinkedIn Saved Searches 1

Step-3: Provide necessary input and save the search result

Give a name to your search. Set your preferences on how often you would like to receive email alerts pertaining to this search and save the search. Now the search is saved with the given name and LinkedIn starts sending people’s profiles matching that search criteria to your mailbox.

generate leads from LinkedIn

You can customize and create multiple saved searches. You can quickly run those searches again in future as well.

Generate Leads from LinkedIn Faster than Experts  

As soon as you receive people profiles (from saved search) in your mailbox, use LeadGrabber Pro to find business email addresses and phone numbers of your prospects. The LinkedIn prospecting tool helps you to build targeted prospect lists along with verified business email address and phone numbers of C-level decision makers. You can instantly transfer your leads to Excel, Outlook, Salesforce, etc. Start reaching your decision makers on their business email and phone, and kick start your business with them.

generate linkedin leads
Speed up LinkedIn Prospecting, generate targeted sales leads & increase sales conversions!

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Mail, Phone, Fax, Email are dying. How do you reach your prospects now

Mail, Phone, Fax, Email are dying. How do you reach your prospects now

eGrabber’s social selling academy asks Flyn Penoyer on the present and future of B2B selling.

eGrabber recently launched the Social Selling Academy. The aim of this academy is to offer professional advice by experts with proven track record of results. This academy is designed for sales and marketing professionals involved in cold calling, email marketing, lead generation to prospecting and prospect follow up. As a part of this initiative, we present to you our first personal interview with Flyn Penoyer.

Flyn is a seasoned sales trainer and coach and has helped numerous companies define, refine and redefine their sales organizations. He has authored several articles and blog posts that give some very fine and unique tips on how sales managers can achieve their targets better and easier.

It is indeed our pleasure to present excerpts of this interview

Flyn, at the outset thanks for your time. I know you are a very busy man. Please tell our readers what keeps you busy

Well, the thing that is making me most busy at this time is finishing up a book on selling, “The Sales Pro’s Bible” that will be published by Motivational Press. I also have a number of clients I’m currently helping to install my training system so they can drive their own training.

You have been around for a bit. Would you mind telling us a little about your background?

What motivated you to do what you are doing now?

Well I’ve been in sales for ever. My first job in sales was working for a magazine distributor selling magazines to housewives, when there were housewives, in 1972. When I graduated in 1973 I was promoted and given my own office. Then, I spent 7 year in consumer sales, much of that managing call centers. I then spent another 7 or 8 years running inside sales for companies like Dysan, Memorex, and Logitech.

In late 1985 I started my sales consulting practices and have been doing it ever since. And from 1997 to 2000 I worked for the American Management Association writing a book on telephone sales then teaching and developing sales courses for their public seminar series. I wrote the original version of their Time and Territory Management program.

I notice that you have helped some of your customers achieve a 300% increase in the run rate of their sales teams and that is in less than 8 months. What did you actually do? Please can you share the secret with us!

Actually, I’ve had an even better result; I got a 285% increase in about 3 months with one of my consulting clients. Recently I got a 97% result in about 3 weeks.

Part of my secret may be just a gift for inside sales groups. I’ve always gotten immediate double digit increases after taking on a new group as manager or in a consulting role.

The first secret is that I focus all of my skills training through the sales process. I make an attempt to add the skill to the sales process first, and then teach it as part of the salespeople’s actual sales process. This eliminates the large gap between learning a skill in the classroom and applying it in the real world.

I also take a unique approach to training that avoids what I consider systemic flaws in the current training models. The biggest being a complete absence of the application of study technology. This tech is responsible for delivering “competence,” the ability to do what was studied. My training is always at least 50% tactical in nature – that time is spent brainstorming with the reps their live-recorded calls. This I’ve found is the most powerful way to teach sales skills.

For those interested there’s lots of stuff on my websites on these subjects, even some tools to help do-it-yourselves. I also have an article on how to raise results at penoyer.com/go

LinkedIn training and networking seems to be a primary area of your interest. Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is actually a secondary interest to my sales training efforts. However, for a number of years I ran a LinkedIn resource website for those wishing to use LinkedIn for business. With my sales, marketing, and networking background I developed some very powerful stuff. It’s called OnlineBusinessNetworker.com.

All my current LinkedIn training and efforts are focused on salespeople within the scope of my TeleSalesUniversity.com website. There’s a recorded session I did for noted copywriter Bob Bly’s subscribers on the site – it’s over 60 minutes of great stuff.

Speaking of LinkedIn, eGrabber provides expert consulting and support on LinkedIn prospecting. I know you use some of our tools.What is your experience with them?

I may have an advantage over many. As a one-man-show I got more leads out of your eGrabber tool during my training on the product than I could consume in months. It is a fabulous tool for anyone needing to create prospect lists.

I actually use the Account-Researcher tool all the time. I have a number of saved searches in LinkedIn that generate notices from LinkedIn of new people found. When I get them, I use Account Researcher to gather the data I need to approach these people. 

Let me share a little secret with you. The entire team at eGrabber is always excited to have you on-board with us. Several of my customers tell me that your webinars were the best and the tips that you gave them worked really well. How does it feel to be associated with us?

I am delighted with this relationship. It has been fun and mutually profitable. I would say to anyone thinking about doing business with eGrabber – don’t hesitate, they’re great folks. I know, I’ve been working with them for years from multiple angles.

I have recently come across an article saying that there is a total paradigm shift in the way companies are marketing their offerings. Social media, LinkedIn, to say so, is the present and the far future. Do you agree on this?

This is an interesting question. I am not sure I agree with the masses on what is happening.

But I can tell you that decision-makers are becoming more and more protected by technology that ever before. I’m not sure this is good – a lot of times you call on a company and you can’t even get to a live person let alone the decision maker whose name you know.

I think it’s become far more important to understand marketing and copywriting than ever before.

I do believe that companies have more knowledge of what their buying and more choices than ever before. This means it’s even more important that you stand out above your competitors if you are to be successful.

I think the paradigm shift is that the phone, fax, and email channels of communication are so shut down; social media is now one of the few ways to reach the decision makers. 

You being a user of our tools and also an independent sales guru, what is that single most difference you see eGrabber’s tools making to the sales organizations?

Account-Researcher basically get you the information you need to engage more quickly than you can do it yourself. And they get quality information. The products also put a lot of the information you might want in your prep for calling in one easy to use place.

I cannot recommend enough, and would do so even without the wide relationship I have with you folks.

Why don’t you tell our readers the Top 5 rules of LinkedIn?

  1. Treat LinkedIn as a marketing channel – like TV, magazines, or direct mail.
  2. Develop “networking relationships” before attempting the business ones to avoid the “cold call” atmosphere.
  3. Provide VALUE to others and never spam or mass mail.
  4. Don’t sell in public, even when the poster asks for your services or products.
  5. Use the groups to engage when possible and not the LinkedIn functions like endorsements, or invitations.

Finally, what do you think are the three biggest misconceptions sales professionals have on areas such as cold calling, social selling etc.

That research warms the cold call or eliminates it.
The one thing that warms the call is to know what the prospect wants and how he or she wants it. You CAN’T find that in social media. Your first call will always be cold unless you were directly referred.

That for the most part social media is no different that email.
When you send an InMail via LinkedIn, it is not all that different than an email. There are some key differences. First, it will get delivered, and second the person receiving it can easily find out about you.

That the best way to approach someone in social media is the same thing you’d do in marketing – offer them something of value to engage. (Your offer is not something of value in this case.) Getting the engagement is the key – getting them to talk to you whether by email or phone is what can start the sales process

Account-Researcher helps sales and marketing professionals in effective B2B prospecting. Using this tool, you will be able to reach C-Level decision makers at their business emails or Social media profiles.

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Effective B2B Prospecting and Beating Sales Call Reluctance

Effective B2B Prospecting and Beating Sales Call Reluctance

One of the key things any seasoned sales professional will agree with is that sales happen majorly due to the prospects’ trust on the sales person than on the product or service. While a good product or service triggers the sale process, it is the selling mechanism that actually instils the confidence in the prospects and translates them into customers. It is better understood if I say that sellers, but not the offerings are the key differentiators in today’s competitive market place.

In a webinar, Connie Kadansky, a professional sales coach shares some workable insights on effective prospecting and beating the sales call reluctance.

sales call reluctance coach

Connie has won several accolades in her professional journey- Best in Class for Assessments for SPQ gold assessment, ATM Gold Toastmasters International and Scholarship to China REN coaching to name a few.

Connie has been interviewed by Wall street Journal and has been a delegate to Rwanda to work with women in parliament.

Connie points out that Prospecting is the “must have” competency for every sales professional. By understanding the nuances of effective prospecting, sales professionals can present themselves and their offerings better to the prospects thereby resulting in improved conversions. The reality however is that, lack of confidence and an inconsistent approach, act as hurdles to sales professionals resulting in lesser success.

Connie talks about three important things every sales professional must inculcate. The three things she talks about make every sales professional more credible and unique.

Prospecting

The participants of the webinar also had an opportunity to hear Connie speak about visibility management and a unique sales model for improved results. They also got to hear Connie’s views on correlation between prospecting and sales and why sales professionals do not prospect proactively.

At this point, we had another speaker Clinton Rozario who spoke about some very powerful prospecting tools that eGrabber develops and markets.

Sales Prospecting Tool

Clinton is the chief architect of targeted prospect list building tools and showed the participants on how they can build targeted prospect lists with business email address and phone number for improved success and response.

The second part of the expert talk dealt with call reluctance and the four “A“s to eliminate it.

4 As of call reluctance

While explaining these simple steps, Connie threw some light on the behavioural types of sales professionals with special focus on the associated phobia.

The webinar finally closed with some techniques on overcoming call reluctance and factors that block success.

eliminating sales call reluctance

Watch the Webinar Video

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Social Media Fuels Paradigm Shift in B2B Prospecting

Social Media Fuels Paradigm Shift in B2B Prospecting

The recent times have witnessed a paradigm shift in B2B prospecting methods. Gone are the days where business development professionals would make a few hundred calls in a week and end up in striking a conversation with just 3 or 4 prospects. B2B prospecting now is no longer “just” demographic based. It is now more of “activity or persona based“.

With the growing influence of social media, it is imperative for business development professionals to realize that there are multiple data points available about your prospect. The catch here is to use these data points effectively and transform them into opportunities. This means you need to understand your prospects in totality even before you contact them.

Where to Find Data Points?

LinkedIn – It is needless to say that LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources to find your target prospects. You have access to information about their professional profile, their achievements, and what they are looking for – new vendors, solution to specific problems, feedback or reviews, partnership invitations and so on. You can also investigate the groups that your prospects are a part of and examine their activities – what kind of discussions are they usually part of, what questions/ comments get posted by them in these discussions, how active are they in these discussions. Such things give you a good starting point for a conversation with your prospects.

Blogs – You need to take time and see the kind of blogs your prospects author or be a part of. That should give you a fair idea of what they are probably in need of. For all that you know they are waiting for you to go to them and tell them you can solve their problem

Videos – YouTube is another platform where you can find information about your prospects. Look at their videos, try and analyze what their business is all about. Once you understand, send them a video or collateral that you think can help them achieve their business objectives.

Industry News – Subscribe yourself to the industry news. Keep abreast of the market happening, trends and forecasts. You may suddenly find news items those talks about a change in management or inclusion of a new offering in your prospect’s company. Use this at a start point to kick start a dialogue with them.

Twitter- One of the biggest advantage of Twitter is you know when your prospect is available for a quick chat. If you see a tweet from your prospect, it is the time you should quickly tweet back. You are sure to remain on your prospect’s fresh memory.

How to Prospect Better?

Let me also give you some quick points on how you can prospect better

  • Emphasize on quality. There is no point in making 100 calls and ending the day without a single success. Instead make fewer targeted and well researched calls and succeed. You need to spend the rest of time researching your prospect.
    To know more read my blog on prospect research
  • Don’t stop at title based or location based searches. Go one step further and do an activity based prospecting.
  • Create multiple small clusters instead of one large cluster and tailor- make the message for each cluster
  • Leverage Social media effectively to start conversations. Continue the dialogue on their business emails.
    To know more about this, read my blog about B2B prospecting on LinkedIn

How eMail-Prospector Pro helps you in B2B Prospecting?

eMail-Prospector Pro gives you all the above talking points pertaining to your prospects. You can find information about your prospects’ social / web presence, patents, awards, news items, press releases and many more. The flagship feature of this tool is it can get you the business email address and phone number in a single click. In case you have a list of prospect companies that you want to target, our tool can get you the complete company profile and also the decision makers within these companies.

Finally – B2B Prospecting today needs to be constantly supported with extensive research and customization. Equip yourself with more-than-enough information about your prospects before you kick start your dialogue with them.

Happy Selling!!

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