Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros – PART 3

The time has come to wrap up our three-part series, Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros, with the grand finale.

(Did you miss part one and two? Find them here and here!)

The intention of this series is to help salespeople and marketers who are tasked with prospecting. The tips and suggestions from this series have been captured from our team of appointment setters, who have an average of more than 15 years of experience in the industry.

In parts one and two, we covered tips on 1) preparing to make prospecting calls, 2) connecting with the decision maker, 3) speaking with the decision maker, and 4) asking for an appointment. In part three, we will wrap up with tips on closing out a call and general prospecting calling tips.

Closing a call:

It’s the finish line – the way you close your conversation will play a part in the impression you’ve made on this decision maker, which ultimately plays a part in the decision maker deciding if he/she is going to follow through and attend the appointment you just scheduled.

As a whole, the Dunlap Marketing team feels strongly about two things when it comes to these final moments of a call:

  • Be gracious
  • Review all appointment details

Gratitude is always appreciated – the small effort it takes on your end can positively impact the receiver monumentally. In fact, it might just be what sets you apart from your competitor. One thing that’s guaranteed: you won’t regret being gracious.

Reviewing all appointment details is a quick way to solidify the agreement the decision maker just made. Quickly verify the pertinent information such as time, date, location, email address, and phone number, if applicable. While you’re at it, if you’re going to send a calendar invite following the phone conversation (which we highly suggest), let the decision maker know to be on the lookout for it.   

General tips:

This final round-up of tips falls into a “catch-all” category. Many of these tips are some of our favorites, so don’t pass them up!

  • Confidence is key
  • Always be respectful – no matter who you’re speaking with
  • Tactful persistence – don’t give up after the first few “nos”
  • Gatekeepers are not your enemy – they can actually be your ally
  • If a prospect asks you a question, first answer their question, then follow up by suggesting an appointment

And that’s a wrap! If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to email us at either miked@dunlapmarketing.com or kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com. Happy prospecting!

Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros – PART 2

We’re back at it with part two of our three-part series, Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros!

(Did you miss part one? Find it here!)

This series is intended to assist any salesperson or marketer who is tasked with prospecting. We interviewed our team of appointment setters, who have an average of 15+ years of experience in the industry, to learn their top tips and advice for prospecting, getting through to the decision maker, and scheduling appointments.

Last week we kicked off the series with tips on 1) preparing to make prospecting calls and 2) connecting with the decision maker. This week, we are diving into the next two phases of a prospecting conversation – speaking with the decision maker and asking for an appointment.

Speaking with the decision maker:

You’ve gotten through the gatekeeper and now you’ve found yourself on the phone with the decision maker (woohoo!). Now what do you do?

Three tips from the Dunlap Marketing team are:

  • Be confident, professional, polite, and brief
  • Know your material
  • Qualify to make sure there’s a fit/need

Remember that first impression we talked about last week? Well, now that the call has been transferred to the decision maker, you’re now back at square one. When speaking with the decision maker, be professional and quickly get to the point. Be confident with the material and message you’re presenting (practice, practice, practice). And before moving too deep into the conversation, make sure there is a need for what you’re calling about. This will save both you and the decision maker time!

Asking for an appointment:

You’ve presented the information to the decision maker confidently and concisely. You have qualified to verify a need or a fit. Next up, it’s time to ask for the appointment.

Some primary suggestions from the team at Dunlap Marketing are:

  • Ask for the appointment by suggesting a date/time
  • Have a positive mindset

Help the decision maker help you. By asking an open-ended question such as “when can we schedule an appointment”, you might inadvertently turn the decision maker away by putting him/her in a situation where he/she has to suggest the date and time. Instead of this approach, narrow the options and offer up one or two dates and time frames.

And of course, have a positive mindset. Believe that you are capable of setting this appointment – because you are!

We’ll be back next week to wrap up this series by talking about closing the call and other must-have tips from our team!

Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros

Are you in sales? Do you dream of closing deals left and right? Do you dream of growing your customer list and increasing your sales?

If yes, you’re in the right place.

We interviewed our team of appointment setters to learn their top tips and advice for prospecting, getting through to the decision maker, and scheduling appointments. And by the way, on average, our team has more than 15 years of experience in the industry…so they know a thing or two about a thing or two!

Join us for our new series, Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros! In today’s post, we will cover our team’s tips on preparing to make prospecting phone calls and trying to connect with the decision maker.

Preparing to make prospecting calls:

The two biggest pieces of advice from our team are

  1. Review your script/message and other supporting material
  2. Practice what you plan on saying

Being familiar with the message you will deliver and how you plan on delivering it is a key part of strong communication. Not only will it help you feel more confident, but it will help you sound more confident, too.

When someone answers your call, you only have a few seconds to make a first impression. If that first impression is not positive, there’s a good chance your call will end with CLICK. Confidence, proper preparation, and a “smile” in your voice will set you up to have a great first impression.

Connecting with the decision maker:

Getting past a gatekeeper is no easy feat – especially a gatekeeper who is good at sniffing out distractions that might not immediately benefit the decision maker.

Even though it’s tough, it’s a necessary task. Many decision makers have one (or multiple) gatekeepers, especially at large companies. When this is the case, it becomes your mission to get through the gatekeeper so you can connect directly with the decision maker.

Our team has a few tips on the matter:

  1. Build rapport with the gatekeeper and remember that they are just doing their job, like you’re just doing yours. With this being said, you don’t want people to get frustrated with you because you’re doing your job, so don’t get frustrated with gatekeepers for doing their jobs. The gatekeeper can usually be an asset to you, but you’ve got to have a foundation of good-will in place.
  2. If it’s available to you, use the decision maker’s name; if it’s not, try to determine it early on. Often, being able to utilize the decision maker’s name will give the gatekeeper a sense of comfort with you and increase their trust in what you’re saying. If you’re still in the discovery phase and don’t yet have the correct name, do your best to find it. When you do, take note of it and use it moving forward.
  3. Have a short and precise introduction of yourself and your company. Don’t be a stranger! Tell the person who answers the phone who you are – but don’t take up too much time with your introduction! Remember, you only have a few seconds to make your first impression. You don’t want that impression to be “this salesperson is only in it for him/herself”. Rather, you want the impression to be “this salesperson is calling from ___ because ___.”

Come back next week for part 2 of Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros where we’ll cover the next phase of a call – speaking with a decision maker and asking for an appointment.

Four Reasons Daily Prospecting Will Increase Your Bottom Line

Question: How can you get the best results from prospecting?

Answer: By making it a daily habit.

Here are 4 reasons why daily prospecting will benefit you, your sales team, and ultimately, your bottom line.

  1. Prospecting keeps your pipeline full
    • There’s no denying it – inbound leads are usually warm, move through the sales cycle at a favorable pace, and are the lowest hanging fruit in terms of prospects. Unfortunately, for a salesperson who is trying to grow his or her portfolio and increase their number of clients, relying solely on inbound leads is usually not sustainable. There just are not enough of them. A great way to prevent your lead list from running dry is to incorporate a mixture of both inbound and outbound-generated leads. Prospecting = outbound leads. Outbound leads = a full pipeline.
  2. Doing a little prospecting each day keeps the task manageable and prevents it from feeling “too big”
    • Which would you rather clean – one dirty dish or a sink full of dirty dishes? Cleaning one dish is much more manageable than a sink full of them. But, when you stack that first dirty dish in the sink, it becomes tempting to continue stacking and stacking, up until the sink is filled and you have no other choice than to tackle all of them. Wouldn’t it feel better to keep the task small and manageable? Prospecting is no different. By doing a little bit of prospecting each day, you avoid letting the task grow and grow until it feels like a big, time-consuming undertaking.
  3. Repetition will keep your prospecting skills sharp
    • What our parents and coaches told us growing up is still applicable in our adult lives – practice makes perfect. And while “perfect” isn’t necessarily attainable, continued practice will only make you better. Prospecting daily will make you a better prospector – it’s as simple as that.
  4. Consistent prospecting will give you a leg up on your competitors
    • Spoiler alert: just like the thought of prospecting doesn’t make you jump for joy, it also doesn’t make your competitors jump for joy. In fact, tasks that we don’t want to do often get pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. And we all know what happens to tasks at the bottom of our list – they end up not getting completed! This is a trap that many people inadvertently fall into – and chances are, it’s a trap your competitors fall into. If you want a leg up on your competitors, do not allow yourself to fall into this same trap. Set yourself apart from what others are doing and get ahead of your inbound leads running dry by prospecting every day.   

Prospecting is a tool that will take your sales success from average to great. A little bit of prospecting each day will grow and compound, leading to your future success. In the words of Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, “Small choices + consistency + time = significant results”.