In July’s episode of The New World of New Biz, we discussed prospecting, more specifically prospecting to win! Our Founder Katie Street was joined by:
- Charlotte Wright, Head of UK Residential Property at Knight Frank.
- Amanda Ruddy, Head of Sales at ALF Insight
- Michael Maslona, Sales Director at Summit
During the session we covered:
How to get attention when prospecting
Charlotte Wright, Head of UK Residential Property at Knight Frank started by telling the audience, “how many moments in time are there to get attention.“
Charlotte talked about how day-to-day she can’t be prospected and that her attention can’t be captured, however, when agencies are very personalised to her brand and business, “they have to dangle quite a big carrot to get my attention” Says Charlotte. The days of picking up the phone and having a cold call conversation are just gone, especially through the pandemic, we all live our lives back to back on video calls so capturing attention is really hard.
On the flip side when there is a moment in opportunity so there’s either a pivot in business strategy, or there’s a new opportunity that we think is in the marketplace. I do the classic look at things I like and what has captured my attention from a brand point of view or product point of view and look to see what agencies created that material, obviously go out to my network and leverage the network and go out to past contacts as well.
Identify buying signals
Amanda Ruddy, Head of Sales at ALF Insight said at the start of the year they went to a number of ALF clients to discuss their prospecting and one of the biggest challenges they had was targeting people at the right time – looking for those little moments and job changes has to be number one if they want to put their own stamp on the brand but timings are crucial to the key leads driver in your own network and brands you are prospecting. Reaction to a change is fundamental and you have to find a reason that is shaking things up.
The importance of a process to track what is and isn’t working in your prospecting
Michael Maslona, Sales Director at Summit talked about how important and downplayed he thinks telemarketing or outreach is.
There is a perfect way to sell and bringing prospects on your journey, which makes it easy to sell, don’t put unnecessary obstacles or barriers in the way to make it difficult for people to choose you. A process takes the guesswork out of sales and a repeatable sales process is the best tool for your outreach to be successful. Record all the metrics you can as it gives you an understanding of the process and allows you to process what is and what isn’t going well.
Summit, manually ask their team at the months end to understand the conversation and pinch points, although you shouldn’t ever close in your first meeting, if things move too quickly you should take a step back and stagger your approach so you can manage expectations. Katie Street adds that you must use the first session to understand the prospect, ask questions so you can come back and find the right solution and in order to be able to define that you must listen. You can’t hope that things will turn around overnight and it must be a constancy, it may take time for it to work but after a year you would’ve built an engaged audience and develop insights.
Positive effects that research and personalisation can have on starting conversations
Katie Street says the starting point should always be ‘what your value exchange is’. Witch is understanding the four areas that we tend to look at when we are working with clients on value proposition or developing a lead marketing message,
what is happening in the market, not just marketing trade but if you have specific sectors look at their challenges. Use Google and don’t be afraid to ask basic questions. Look at competitors and insights that others are putting out and their engagement but also talk to your existing clients and understand what is it that they value about you and working with you.
Michael Maslona, Sales Director at Summit adds that you have to make noise and you have to stand out, it’s not a short campaign and you need to have realistic expectations on what your marketing activity will achieve, driving credibility, engagement, meetings and it’s important to sell by stories and do your research.
Video, is it the next big thing for your outreach?
Amanda Ruddy discusses that every buyer is going to have a different preference, if someone has a work number available utilise it. When we did our survey with ALF users about how people are approaching their prospects, 100% of people are using emails which is obvious but just don’t forget everyone receives hundreds of emails all the time and clients are using the phone less and less. Since the pandemic we have had more access to the decision-makers, actually being able to speak to a marketing director and someone more senior with everyone being at home and video.
We are on video all the time, for prospecting, getting a video in an email is personal and gives us a better understanding of the person and could’ve been someone I wouldn’t have engaged with before. Only 8% of our clients use video, if nobody uses it – stick out and get ahead of the competition – Don’t do one thing, do it all, record it and see what works best for you.
There is however a right and a wrong way to send video, it must be short, sharp and to the point, it must be you in that video if you are prospecting and it must be personalised. Amanda says she must feel interested and have an understanding of your offering and that you get her, taking the time to make it human and fun.
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