July 6

11 Battle Tested Sales Prospecting Tips for Solopreneurs

Let's face it. When you're a solopreneur, every minute you spend chasing a new client, customer, or sale that doesn't convert is wasted. You'll never get that minute back, you can't use it to chase down another sales prospect that will convert and you can't sell that time to any existing customers or clients. 

I've spent half my career as a solopreneur or extremely small business owner, first as a partner in my first ad agency, Brandmarken Communications, and now as the founder/President of my sales enablement agency, Converse Digital. And nothing, and I do mean NOTHING pumps my blood pressure faster than wasting time doing anything, but especially sales prospecting. In fact, it's one of the major reasons we keep bourbon in the office at all times 😂  but I digress. 

If you're a solopreneur, freelancer, consultant, or coach, spend a few minutes reading this list of the 11 most important lessons this solopreneur has learned on his journey toward painlessly prospecting for new clients

1. Value Time Over Money

Time and money are the two biggest constraints limiting solopreneurs' sales prospecting success. When you have funds available to invest in your sales prospecting program always invest in tools, templates, and processes that save you time. Automate everything you can to free you up to do the things computers and software can't do - building your reputation and creating or strengthening relationships with sales prospects, strategic partners, and your Social Agents.

2. Trust But Verify Sales Coaching Advice

Don't believe everything you hear from sales coaches. For instance, everyone says That LinkedIn Is the B2B sales prospecting network. But, if you look at the research and apply a bit of critical thinking you start to see a few holes in that argument. Always try and triangulate everything before you apply the advice at your company.

3. Make Sure You're Making a Great First Impression

Make sure you are ready to be discovered by today's Invisible Buyers. Research shows that 70% of buyers today are conducting pre-purchase research online before buying or contacting suppliers. Check your social feeds. What would a perfect stranger think after landing on your profile or your company's profiles? Double-ditto for your website.

4. Focus on Quality vs Quantity

Focus your sales prospecting efforts on Quality vs Quantity. The recent LinkedIn 2022 state of Sales research study found the most successful salespeople (those exceeding quota by 150% or more) spent LESS time selling than their peers. Instead of cold-calling and cold-emailing, they spent their time engaged in high-quality conversations that converted at higher rates.

Have you read: Painless Prospecting For Solopreneurs, Freelancers, and Consultants?

Click Here to Read Next

5. Never Talk to a Stranger

That same LinkedIn study also found that 62% of the highest performing reps significantly increased their time spent researching prospects. And in the United States, 82% of top sellers, us 49% of peers, were significantly more likely to conduct Social Reconnaissance on prospects.

6. Trust Sells

Create trust and customers and clients will follow. Only 43% of buyers felt salespeople were trustworthy, but 87% of buyers describe the sellers they do business with as "trusted partners." (source: LinkedIn)

7. Stop Selling

The easiest and most effective tip I can give you is to stop selling, and start helping prospects complete their education. Today's self-educating buyers can finally purchase goods and services the way humans have always wished they could — without a salesperson looking over their shoulder or having to rely on sellers for product or service information. Instead, they hide behind the anonymity of a Google search, the private side of their favorite social media platforms, or consume freely available digital content to conduct pre-purchase research. Only after that research suggests your product or service might solve their need do they bother to raise their hand and let you know they are in the market for what you sell.

Have you read: Making Sales Prospecting Fun & Easy?   

Click Here to Read Next

8. Pack Your Patience

Be patient. Sometimes your prospect isn't ready to be saved. Other times they're ready, but they're not yet convinced they should select you as their Saviour. When a sales opp stalls, avoid the natural desire to add fuel to the offer. Instead, look first at ways to remove any friction points that may delay the purchase. And finally, probe. If a deal or purchase stalls, ask the buyer why. Once they answer, ask why again. And again. And again. And finally, ask it for a fifth time. Why?

Because the answer to that fifth "Why" is most likely the real reason the purchase or deal is stuck..... It's called The 5 Whys, and you can read the science behind it here.

9. Ask For The Business

Don't be afraid to ask. One downside of Selling Greatly is that often you find yourself developing strong, empathy-based relationships with highly qualified prospects. You might even become friends at some level. This often causes sales shy solopreneurs to feel uncomfortable "asking for the business."

Get over that and make the ask.

10. Never Make The First Ask

Never approach a sales prospect requesting information or insight into their needs. We've all experienced this phenomenon. A cold call or email asking you if what the salesperson sells could be helpful to you or, my favorite, point them in the right direction if you're not the right person to buy what they sell. 🤦‍♂️ 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♂️

Instead, always offer them something of value to reward them for allowing you to connect. Maybe this is a crucial insight or piece of research or data you possess that they may not.

11. Cultivate a Network of Social Agents

And finally, always remember that even folks who can't do business with you can wind up becoming the most important client or customer that never buys from you. I call them Social Agents. Ignore them at your own peril.

watch this video to learn how i can teach you to 

painlessly prospect for clients

This post was originally published on Insight & Information, the weekly sales and marketing blog created by the fine folks at Converse Digital. If you want to learn how to create, engage in, and convert conversations into new clients and customers, give them a call

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