The Top 10 Best Sales Prospecting Strategies

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Way of the Wolf" by Jordan Belfort. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the ten best sales prospecting strategies? How can these prospecting strategies help you find the most likely buyers?

Sales prospecting is when you take everyone in the sales funnel and find the ones who are likely buyers. It’s not always easy to sift through prospects, but if you follow these prospecting strategies, you’ll able to figure it out.

Read on to learn about the top ten best sales prospecting strategies.

Top Ten Sales Prospecting Strategies

Sales prospecting is when a you take everyone in the sales funnel and find the ones who are likely buyers. You may do this through emails, phone calls, text, or other outreach methods.

It’s not always easy, but if you follow these prospecting strategies, you should be able to figure it out. They follow here:

1.You’re Looking for Good Buyers, Not Trying to Create Them

The first of the ten sales prospecting strategies is to think about gold miners waiting and sifting through water. They’re willing to sit there until they find gold, but they’re not expecting the water to become gold. In the same way, remember that there are 4 types of buyers and you shouldn’t expect any lookie-loos or mistakes to become a buyer in heat or a buyer in power. This is a waste of time. 

2. Start With Questions That Aren’t Invasive and Make Your Way to Tougher Questions

This helps the prospect feel more comfortable with you and assuages their concerns about you attempting to invade their privacy. 

3. Use a Script

If you wing it, it’s more likely that you’ll make a mistake and lose any good impression you might have established. The script also allows you to relax and focus more on your tone. (There is more detail about the script in the following chapters.) 

4. Start With Questions That Aren’t Invasive and Make Your Way to Tougher Questions

If you start out intense without a rapport, the subject is going to be much less likely to answer any questions from you than if you build a rapport by asking friendlier questions at first. 

5. Practice Using the Right Tone

The tonality helps with building rapport. Just like with the rest of the presentation or pitch, if your tonality is off, the prospect will trust you less and then you will get less information out of them. 

6. Maintain Good Body Language

This prospecting strategy goes back to rule 5. If you look closed off as your prospect replies after asking a fairly invasive question, it’s way less likely that he will respond truthfully. Use the strategies from Chapter 8 for success. 

7. Follow Logic

If you jump around with your questions, it will begin to feel much less like a conversation and much more like you are just pumping your prospect for information. It will also sound like you have very little idea what you’re talking about. Exhaust follow-up questions before moving to your next big picture question in your script. 

8. Don’t Try to Make the Prospect Feel Better Right Away; Take Notes Instead

While you’re information gathering, you shouldn’t be trying to resolve the pain of your prospect. You’d prefer to amplify it, because their pain will drive them to buy. Ask questions that future pace and make them more aware of their pain. Meanwhile, you’re taking mental notes and adding said pain to your database for use once you’ve gathered all of your information.

9. End Your Pitch With a Good Transition

This is where you eliminate the lookie-loos and the mistakes. If you have one of those, let them know straight up that you don’t think your company is a good fit for them, and recommend something else if you know of anything. It’s important to maintain a good rapport because who knows what will happen down the road? In the case where you know you want to proceed with your sale, you should say that you think your company is definitely a perfect fit and go on to tell them why. 

10. Don’t Fall for Tangents—Follow the Straight Line System

The prospect will often answer your question by spiraling off the path herself. The key is how you handle it. Trying to engage with someone over something they like that’s completely unrelated to the task at hand is not building rapport. By engaging on the prospect’s terms, it’ll become clear that you’re not much of an expert because you’re just chatting with them about whatever. People want you to stay on target, even if they’re moving off. Say very directly that you’re an expert in your field, not what they’re talking about, and you don’t want to get lost wherever they are. People will respect that. 

If you ever sense you’re falling out of rapport through these prospecting strategies, you need to pause and make sure you reestablish rapport. Fortunately, if you’ve gotten to this point, not every small mistake will ruin your chances. But it’s best to minimize the mistakes as much as possible, because each mistake will make you lose rapport—enough mistakes could lead to losing the sale. 

The Top 10 Best Sales Prospecting Strategies

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  • How to sell like Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street
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Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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