These days, everyone is using online resources to initiate early prospecting discussions via digital media. Which is part of the problem. How do you avoid looking and sounding like everybody else in the digital realm? Below, you will find three simple strategies that will help you to stand out when you are prospecting online.
Strategy #1: Develop and execute pattern interrupts.
A pattern interrupt is the act of doing something (appropriate and professional) that the person reading your message does not expect. Make your messaging unusual and unexpected! Here are some examples.
- Be disarmingly honest. Say something about yourself and your organization that salespeople don’t usually say. For example: “We might not be a good fit for you.”
- Make your message visually striking. Using highly customized pictures and video is one powerful strategy here. Vidyard, an application that uses video to help you create engaging presentations, is also great for this.
- Make your message personal. Share unexpected information about yourself and your situation and connect it to what you know about the other person. For example: “Side note: I saw in your recent LinkedIn post that you mentioned you have a Pomeranian. My wife and I have three!” You will also want to check out Crystal, an algorithm-driven app that scans publicly available information and gives you surprisingly accurate insights on how best to communicate with a suspect you are hoping to turn into a prospect.
Strategy #2: Give more to get more.
Emerson’s famous Law of Compensation comes into play here. Basically, it states that we will always be compensated for our contribution and our efforts, whatever they may be, and however big or small they may seem. How does this apply to prospecting via digital platforms? Simple: Find a way to build your message around giving something of legitimate value to the recipient.
- Use your message to share your knowledge. Offer a little bit of the insight that makes you an expert in your field. Share theories, tactics, and transformational stories of your clients. Don’t give away the story but do let the recipient see why people pay to work with you and your organization.
- Use your message to share important relationships. Connect people in your network who would benefit from talking to each other. This is a great way to start a discussion about what you do … without coming on strong. People will inevitably ask you to share more about you and your organization.
- Stay connected and follow up. Check in briefly and appropriately after you’ve shared something of potential value to the person.
Strategy #3: Listen!
Billions of people are trying to get attention online. Make sure you are in the minority, as one who actually listens to the people you reach out to.
- Like and share other people’s posts. Attention is gold. Invest yours strategically – but when you do invest it, be sure to let the person know you’ve been engaging with their content. Make it clear in your comments that you have actually read the post in question! Say what you liked about it, why you shared it, and what you hope others will take from it.
- Know what problems people are trying to solve – and use online resources to help them solve those problems. Share relevant and valuable blogs, podcasts, or videos with your contacts.
- Ask interesting questions. No cookie-cutter, cut-and-paste conversations! Pose questions that are uniquely relevant to the individual and the situation. These kinds of questions allow your prospects to opt-in to a longer conversation with you.
As you follow these three simple, powerful guidelines, remember that you are beginning a conversation. Your goal is to make it easy for others to decide to reply to your message and, eventually, transition to a real-time voice-to-voice discussion. That means no premature presentations … and no asking prospects to “get married” on the first date!
Check out this on-demand webinar to learn more about leveraging video to make the sale.