We’re sometimes asked what the bare minimum should be in terms of digital prospecting ability for an individual salesperson. Below, our list of five things we believe every salesperson, operating in any industry, should be able to do in terms of digital prospecting. If for some reason you can’t do this much right now, you should learn how, and sooner rather than later!
- Follow a prospect and/or the prospect’s company page on LinkedIn. This assumes that you yourself have a LinkedIn account and a viable LinkedIn profile. There is simply no excuse for not having a LinkedIn presence if you are a sales professional. If you’d like some good insights on how to set up a compelling profile, see the book LinkedIn The Sandler Way.
- Check to see whether a prospect has a Twitter account, and follow that account with your own Twitter account. Even if you are currently unfamiliar with Twitter, you can quickly set up a simple business account. Like LinkedIn, this is free. Important: Make sure the account you use to follow and communicate with prospects has a clear business focus. Don’t follow prospects or customers with an account that shares personal information or divisive content about politics or religion.
- Send a concise, stress-free introductory email to prospects, whether or not you have spoken to them by phone. It might begin like this: “This is Maria Smith with ABC Company. I am guessing you have not heard of me or our company. Our clients tell us that …” By the way, Sandler can help you craft a full message based on tested digital prospecting strategies, one that is customized to your situation and sets the right tone at the very beginning of the business relationship.
- Send an even more concise follow-up message fourteen days later. It could read something like this: “This is Maria Smith from ABC Company. I thought I would circle back with you on my previous note. If you would have a chance to reply either way, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks.”
- Send a third message closing out the prospecting effort fourteen days after that. This message could look something like this: “This is Maria Smith with ABC Company. I have sent you a few previous messages and I haven’t heard back, so I am getting the feeling that there is simply 0% interest in even learning more about each other’s businesses and you are simply being too nice to tell me that. If that is the case, I completely understand and respect it. We are not for everyone. If you would be kind enough to confirm my suspicions, I will close your file and not bother you further. Best of luck in your business.”