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It’s Not 1992 Anymore…3 Tips Bring Your Prospecting Efforts Into The 21st Century

1992 gave us some great things – Windows 3.1 made desktop publishing viable on a Windows PC, Space Shuttle Endeavor brought us back to space after the Challenger tragedy, and the US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, dubbed the “Dream Team”, crushed every other country’s dreams of Olympic Gold.

In addition to that, Glengarry Glen Ross made its big screen debut, giving us great sales lines.

Coffee is for closers!

A-B-C, Always Be Closing!

These are the Glengarry leads…

One thing it also gave us was age-old sales tactics.  The world has moved on, but why are we still prospecting like it’s 1992?

Oh, have I got your attention, now?


Too often, when I am asked to do consulting engagements with other companies, I see prospecting tactics that are more akin to 1992 than today.  Dialing off of a cold list, trying to ask for a decision maker, using approaches that are script oriented.  Why?


1. Embrace Social Media

The past decade has seen technology exponentially increase to become a part of our daily lives.  Social networking like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become the norm, and everything is online.  So why aren’t your salespeople?  Gatekeepers have evolved, and are smarter – you’re not likely to get through them just asking for a title, or for “the decision maker”.  Do some pre-call research to understand you is most likely the person responsible for the decisions.  Find their direct number, and call.

We leverage social media and crowd-sourcing on all campaigns.  In addition to being able to research decision makers on sites like LinkedIn, we also have access to a crowd-sourced database with over 200 million profiles of decision makers across the globe.  This includes names, titles, emails – even direct dial numbers.  Its an extremely powerful tool that allows our teams to be 250% more effective than teams who prospect the ‘old-fashioned’ way.


2. Throw Away The Script

Scripts are so last century!  Not only that, but decision makers can tell if someone is reading from a page, versus having a personal interaction with them.  Engage, be consultative, listen, and respond intelligently.

Two things that we train our teams on are consultative call approaches, and active listening strategies.  Prospect engagement can only happen when the decision maker becomes part of the call.  Simple, open-ended questions yield a tremendous amount of information and pain-points.   But the caller needs to listen and comprehend that pain, so that they can respond appropriately.  Appointments are simply a byproduct of uncovering pain and intelligently responding with a resolution.


3. Use Multiple Channels For Communication

Just calling will only serve to limit the results you expect.  After the recession, businesses leaned out and learned to do more with less.  This was great for their bottom-line, but also created a workforce that is rarely sitting idly by, waiting for the phone to ring.  Setting quality appointments is like hitting a target.  The larger that target, the easier it is to hit.

Nearly a decade ago, we pioneered the multi-touch approach, and have been updating and perfecting it as technology evolves. This approach allows our team to reach out to decision makers by phone, email, and social media, which in turn gives our prospects the chance to reach our callers in their preferred method of contact, thus increasing the size of the aforementioned target.

Dave Capezza

Dave Capezza is the VP of Business Development for SalesRoads, a nationally renowned inside sales authority, marketing expert, leader, and consultant. He is also one of the SLMA's 50 Most Influential People in Sales & Lead Management. His passion has always been focused on business development. As a 4-time Inc 500||5000 Award winner (2005, 2006, 2007, 2014), he successfully helped grow two small businesses into thriving industry leaders by instilling intelligent and proven business development processes, and management strategies. Dave’s mantra is to lead by example, and never ask an employee to complete a task that he isn't willing to do himself. Those principles help him to understand the fundamentals of the organizations he works for, to advance the company as a whole.