Most jobs involve some kind of sales work, but most people are not particularly good at selling themselves or their products. Sales skills like how to connect with prospects can be taught. Being successful at sales is more difficult if you don’t have an outgoing personality, but I believe anything can be taught – if you are willing to listen and learn.
What is Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is finding leads who have the potential to become customers or clients.*
The key of course, is finding leads. In an ideal sales world, your sales funnel is filled with eager prospects who have found you from your website, social media, ads or other sales and marketing strategies you’ve carefully put in place.
Once you find a prospect, knowing how to connect with that prospect is key to sales success. Once you make a connection, the rest of the sales process flows smoothly, built on a foundation of trust and mutual need. The effort to make a connection starts the minute I meet someone. People want to do business with people they like and are comfortable with. My job as a salesperson is to:
- find a prospect
- connect with the prospect so they become a real lead
- convert your leads into clients and customers
*Leads and prospects are sometimes used interchangeably. Some salespeople say first you find a lead, who then may become a prospect. The real point is, don’t miss a sales opportunity by worrying about which comes first – the lead or the prospect.
The first order in any business transaction is making a connection with the prospect. Without this connection, it’s an uphill fight to introduce a product to a new customer – even something you know they would want. But make that connection and the rest of the process flows smoothly, gliding along on a river of trust. The effort to make a connection starts the minute I meet someone.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
I just relax and try to talk to them like I am talking to my best friend. I ask questions, and I silently listen to their answers. If you relax and just have a conversation with them, that’s one of your best sales tools. As a father of 8, I make a point to share personal information about myself and my family with whomever I am speaking to. This encourages the other person to also share information about themselves, further strengthening the growing connection.
Listening is the key to making a connection – understanding their wants and needs.
If you can’t make that connection then you can’t sell to them, because they won’t be listening to you.
People want to do business with people they like and are comfortable with. Make a strong connection, and people will want to hear about the options you can offer them because they believe in and trust you, and they believe you are there to help. When it is difficult to make the connection, I find some way to hit the reset button on the proceedings. This could mean changing the location of the meetings or conducting business over a meal or a coffee.
Connecting with prospects is a skill that can be learned. Here are some tips and resources to help you connect with prospects, and then convert them into customers.
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How To Connect With Prospect for New Sales Leads: 13 Tips, Resources and a Checklist
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How To Connect With Prospects for New Sales Leads: 13 Tips, Resources and a Checklist
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