Last week, I touched upon 9 new school approaches to help copier sales reps prospect in all the right places.
Ask any tenured copier sales rep and they will stress the importance of integrating effective prospecting techniques as part of their new business strategy. Seasoned copier sales reps can write novel’s with "cold calling" stories as they reminisce about the good ole days.
The good ole days are behind us. Times have changed and so has prospecting. Cold calling is not dead it is just different now. Why is this happening? Simply stated the buyer's journey has changed the way they interact with salespeople.
By 2018, 20% of B2B sales teams will go “virtual,” resulting in improved pipeline conversion rates. Buyers won’t talk to sales until late in the game…Enter the “virtual” sales rep. (IDC, December 2014)
67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. (SiriusDecisions, July 2013)
In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. (TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group)
Only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment. Find new ways to reach decision-makers. (LeapJob)
There is a great study out by Richardson, inside the 2016 Selling Challenges Study; they surveyed more than 400 sales professionals and revealed the top three prospecting problems salespeople are grappling with today:
- Identifying triggers/sales signals that indicate issues you can resolve
- Identifying target accounts
- Qualifying prospects
This is 2016 and inside the copier channel, times have changed and so should your approach to business development.
Here Are 3 Simple Ways To Prospect As A Copier Sales Rep. Guess What? It Is Not As Hard As You Think!
1. Leverage the power of your network - Your network is your net worth and is bigger than you think but how do you tap into its power? I suggest starting with your current clients. Look for 5-6 people inside each account to connect with on LinkedIn. Your current clients hold the key to rapid introductions into the people they know. People love to help others because it feels good. You may be surprised as to whom within your network has connections that can help you. Look for relationships inside their social networks and ask for introductions.
People are more willing to spend time with someone that comes “verified” by someone they trust.
2. Share educational content online- As a copier sales rep today, you must be able to build relationships digitally. Face to face relationship building is critical, however just as important is building these relationships online. Sharing educational, thought-leadership content online helps you as a copier sales rep position yourself as a trusted adviser as the content curated may help your current clients or potential clients solve possible pain points. This also may enable your prospects to humanize the relationship as they may see you as someone who knows them and actually cares about them as individuals.
"Continually educate your clients or someone else will!"
Prospecting is tough, let's just face it. Staying top of mind with your clients and prospects is difficult. Sharing educational content through a "drip" market campaign within LinkedIn is a terrific way to keep your name in front of your clients and prospects.
Engage with content online and...
3. Follow your current customers and prospects - As copier reps, you must listen to understand what is going with your current clients and prospects. Ask your current clients what social media channels they use and follow them. Throw your social detective hat on and do the same with your prospects.
Why? The use of social media isn't going away! Corporate identities and how businesses communicate these days is accomplished by leveraging social platforms. Two simple ways to learn more about your current clients and prospects is by following what they post or comment on within LinkedIn or Twitter.
What a great way to learn more and insert yourself into their online conversations, posts or comments. In doing so you may even find opportunities to help solve issues you may not have known about if you were not following their social media channels.
As a copier sales rep, reaching and influencing the B2B buyer is tough. Let's acknowledge the fact the demographics of the buyer are changing. The time is now! Copier sales reps must realize adjustments are needed to your prospecting game plan in order to keep the sales funnel flowing with sales possibilities.
Simply stated, I urge reps inside the copier channel to:
Adjust, Adapt, Adopt and Augment prospecting efforts!
If you enjoyed please share your comments. Look forward to connecting and starting a conversation.
Check out more at the Social Sales Academy blog site.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform and coach copier sales professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. My commitment is to help independent office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy