There are two basic ways you can increase sales: Close more often or close bigger deals. Most salespeople focus on trying to close more sales, but the truly successful among them instead sell to the “top dogs” in their industries.
There’s a catch, of course. If you want to reach high-level prospects at big organizations, you can’t simply make haphazard phone calls and send random sales emails. You need to implement one can’t-fail strategy: an organized sales-prospecting campaign.
Have you ever gone after a big fish in your industry before? What was the result? (If you’re unsure where to start, my free 1-Minute Sales Strength-Finder Quiz could help you focus on how your skills best match with a strategy to improve your track record.)
1. List your 10 ideal prospects.
It’s fine to start by listing the top organizations you’d like to convert to customers. But you need to be more strategic in your approach. Identify specific people you’ll need to meet within each company so you can secure the sale. Don’t waste your time with low- or mid-level management. Go after the VPs, CEOs and C-suite executives who have the power to invest in your offering.
2. Plan ahead for every point of contact.
Cold-calling doesn’t work when you’re going after valuable prospects. These people often get hundreds of sales calls every week. To stand out from the crowd, map out your plan for every prospecting touch before you ever make a call or send a prospecting email.
3. Think outside the box.
Next, brainstorm seven different ways you can “touch” your prospect. Calls and emails don’t count. Plan unique ways to offer something of real value so you can catch your prospect’s attention and stay on her or his radar.
4. Send personalized packages.
When you’re brainstorming those seven touches, look for ways to send something of value and personalize it to your prospect. Special reports, samples, case studies, handwritten notes and invitations to events all are examples. As a bonus, these valuable, information-packed offerings position you as an expert in what you’re selling. When you’re working toward a massive sale, you can afford to invest time and money in these personalized packages.
5. Send everything through FedEx.
No, I don’t get paid by FedEx to say this. I’ve simply found that everyone opens a FedEx box or envelope. Not even CEOs at large organizations can resist the curiosity. It’s a great method to ensure your prospect will open your package and actually lay eyes on the gift you’ve so carefully planned and customized.
6. Now you can call and email.
Once you’ve sent your package, follow up with a phone call or email. Because your prospect has seen your name on something of value, he or she will be far more likely to know who you are. That makes it much easier to start a conversation than a cold call ever could.
7. Don’t give up.
Some prospects will be responsive right away. Others will not. Just stick to your planned touches and rinse, wash, repeat. If you never get a response, move to another high-level prospect within the same organization and try again. Closing big sales takes persistence and patience, but doubling your sales certainly is worth the effort.