Sales prospecting like a tour guide? You mean I have to wear a goofy safari hat?

A tour guide supports a journey of enrichment in art and education. Today’s winning sales prospectors focus on education and sharing knowledge and have evolved beyond acting like appointment setting mercenaries.

Why? Today’s buyers are empowered by the internet to self-educate at every step in the sales process. Online content, reviews, guides, ratings and testimonials flood buyers with critical information that could make SDRs obsolete. It’s the companies with compelling content and inbound marketing strategies that win the customers in the awareness, research and consider stages. What’s a prospector to do?

The Challenge

So now your challenge is: how do I get the attention of buyers that are not in the market yet, or are still happily researching on their own? Take a supportive and educational tone like a docent (tour guide), not a mercenary.

Unlike a trade show, you can’t just lure prospects into your booth with cool swag. As prospectors, we have to build rapport and trust with our prospects. Be engaging and educational, not intimidating and pushy.

The Path

Instead of hunting these prospects, you will be better off inviting them on a guided tour of your company’s library of problem-solving content (e.g. white papers and articles). How do you do this? You politely ask your prospect to take that first step and be open to learning – even if they are not in market. You are there to support their efforts. The best sales people today are information brokers, not closers.

As your prospects agree to tour with you, observe their activity and reactions by leveraging technology, and always listen for opportunities to solve potential problems.  Assuming you have a rockstar marketing team, you can just follow the content and nurture path they’ve already laid out for inbound leads. If not, that’s a separate challenge.

Backing off

If you find that your prospect is resistant to your help but still intrigued, offer them a headset and let them walk through the tour on their own via your marketing automation nurture track. Just keep an eye on their lead score as it accumulates.

Treat your prospects like well-heeled tourists and not big game.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to know how this applies to your business. Stop searching for the knowledge and have it delivered directly to you by Subscribing to Read the Review & Save a Few [News Letter], your weekly debriefing to all the Sales Acceleration Software News, Reviews, & How-to’s!

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Jeff Leo Herrmann

About Jeff Leo Herrmann

A champion of B2B sales and marketing alignment and brand audience development, Jeff is passionate about leveraging content, technology and data to enable challenger organizations to accelerate sales and realize extraordinary growth. As the CEO of Madison, Michigan and Market, and the Publisher of SalesQuants, Jeff is a resource to both Sales Executives and CMOs because he understands the dynamics of their relationship.

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