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Prospecting is a critical skill to develop if you want to increase your sales and achieve long-term success in sales. Yet most sales people don’t invest enough time to this integral sales strategy. Here are five prospecting best practices to consider.

1. Allot a specific amount of time every day, week or month. Prospecting is not a fun activity, at least not for most people. However, the more time you consistently invest in prospecting for new business the more likely it is you never suffer from a sales slump. That’s why it is imperative you block time in your calendar each and every week to prospect for new business. Do you schedule prospecting time into your calendar every week?

2. Use a variety of methods to prospect for new business. Too many salespeople take the same approach week after week. Although they may generate good results, it is critical you use multiple methods to uncover new business leads. Here are a few strategies you should consider.

  • Cold calling
  • Asking for referrals
  • Networking
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Writing articles
  • Trade shows
  • Conferences

3. Develop a powerful introduction. The majority of salespeople fail miserably at this. I recall talking to a person I met at a networking event, and after a 15-minute conversation, I still had no idea what she did or what service she provided to her clients. Is your introduction powerful enough to capture the attention of new prospects?

4. Master all types of media. Today’s business offers more ways to communicate with prospects, which makes it easier and more complex to connect with new prospects. This means you need to be able to communicate effectively in more mediums than before.

  • Does your voicemail message help you stand out from your competition?
  • Can you send an email that compels your prospect to respond?
  • Do you know how to write an effective sales letter?
  • Are you employing social media to connect with your prospects?
  • Are you using all forms of media to connect with your prospects?

5. Create a compelling value proposition. The majority of salespeople simply do not create a compelling reason why someone should do business with them or buy their product or service. Their voicemail messages, emails and sales pitches sound like everyone else’s and do little to compel a prospect to return their call, respond to their email or call them back after a sales presentation. Is your value proposition valuable enough to compel your prospect to want to talk to you?

Consistent and effective prospecting can make the difference between average sales and great sales results. If you are serious about increasing your sales, make the effort to apply the strategies into your daily and weekly sales routine.

For more articles on prospecting, see:

Prospecting is a contact sport

Prospecting: The best ways to round up new business

Tips for hot prospecting

Kelley Robertson conducts sales training workshops and delivering keynote speeches at conferences, sales meetings and other events. Book Robertson for your next event: 905-633-7750 orKelley@RobertsonTrainingGroup.com.