Sales prospecting requires not only a thick skin but also a healthy dose of persistence. One study shows that it can take upwards of eight attempts to reach a prospect, and nearly half of salespeople (44%) give up after just one follow-up call.

Perhaps the most challenging part of prospecting though, according to Paul Petrone, a senior content marketing manager at LinkedIn, is figuring out how to stand out.

Other sales reps are doing what you’re doing – and doing it exceptionally well – so how do you differentiate yourself? Petrone got some insights from high-performing salespeople and compiled their thoughts into a post. We share his findings in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. Use the phone more often. Emailing is quick and convenient, but don’t overlook the power of a cold call. If the prospect answers your call, lead with something interesting and then get specific about how you can help them.

  2. Make your point of view known. This shows that you did your research. Petrone learned it’s always important to come up with your own unique point of view when prospecting – don’t rely on AI tools.

  3. Look for sales messaging in your clients’ words. Instead of trying to craft the perfect sales message, find it. Book 10 interviews in your network to get a feel for the prospect’s world. Ask questions like, “If you could wave a magic wand, what problems would you want to eliminate?” and “Who do you report to and what do they care most about?” Look for repeatable phrases and use them when crafting your messaging.

  4. Network online and in person. Sales is a relationship business. Take time to build authentic relationships and become a trusted advisor. Grab coffee, go to lunch and network however you can.

  5. Make assumptions. Petrone says that when you connect the dots between someone’s LinkedIn profile, their industry and the overall business climate, it can help your prospecting stand out. In general, you can assume what was working really well 12 months ago might not be working so well now.

  6. Immerse yourself in the client’s world. Dive into the client’s industry and see how you can use what you learn to understand them on a deeper level.

  7. Focus on their challenges rather than your solution. No one wants to listen to a salesperson rattle on about their company. Instead, make the conversation about the prospect and what they’re trying to achieve. Petrone says you should show that you’re intentionally curious about their business.

  8. Always personalize and vary your format. Your prospects may get hundreds of emails but not many video or audio messages. Consider this an opportunity to stand apart. In talking with some top-performing salespeople, Petrone learned that there are many shortcuts out there, but those shortcuts just add to the noise. If you want to break through, take a personalized approach.

Sales prospecting can be tough and time-consuming, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Make the most of your prospecting efforts by looking for ways to stand out.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Paul Petrone is a senior content marketing manager at LinkedIn.