Customers don’t just show up—you have to go get them. Or, have a way to get them interested in learning more about what you offer. You need to engage in both prospecting and lead generation if you want to grow consistently and be sustainable. To do that, you need to get a prospecting system in place. What does Diane do? Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to find out!
Diane Helbig is a business advisor and trainer, author, and podcast host. She’s been training small business owners and sales professionals on the importance of discovery during the prospecting, and lead generation stages of sales for over 20 years. She is the author of Succeed Without Selling: The more you think about selling the less you’ll sell, Expert Insights, and Lemonade Stand Selling.
Diane’s prospecting system begins with identifying a target market. Then you must develop a list of prospects within that target and do some research on them. You need to learn as much as you can so when you do outreach, you have something to talk about. Diane loves it when people use LinkedIn to see how they’re connected. Why? Because a warm introduction is ideal. When you go to set up a meeting, you’re more likely to get it.
With lead generation, you need to develop a list of prospect characteristics in your target market. Set up an ad campaign or an email drop campaign to draw their attention and interest. You get them to your website to reach out to you.
Be realistic. Understand that you’re not going to sell to everyone in your target market. Attention to detail is also important, especially when getting down to determining characteristics.
You must be patient and good at reviewing data. What are the results of your lead gen? Is it working? Are you targeting the right audience? You can be flexible and make adjustments.
Curiosity is a huge skill that salespeople need—but most salespeople don’t embrace it enough. Why? Because they want to sell to everyone.
She emphasizes that you have to listen actively and intentionally and ask questions. Lead into a conversation not knowing if they will be a customer. Allow the conversation to tell you if they are a good customer fit.
You also have to learn how to structure your time for a prospecting system to work. It’s really easy to get distracted. So set up a system and work it. Know what the steps are and block them on your calendar. What are Diane’s top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Listen to find out!
Diane had a business friend that owned a gift basket company. She was very motivated and clear on her target market and who she should be doing business with. She went through Diane’s LinkedIn connections and emailed the 5 companies she wanted an introduction to. But they got zero responses on LinkedIn.
So Diane decided to try and different tactic emailed each of them directly and asked if they’d take her call. All of them said yes. Why? Because they trusted Diane. She wouldn’t send them someone not with talking to. It gave this gal credibility. She ended up doing business with four out of the five! She had a process, she worked it diligently, and she followed through immediately. Prospecting systems work.
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