6 Expert Tips for Confident Sales Prospecting

Emily Kingland
April 1, 2020
6 Expert Tips for Confident Sales Prospecting

Let’s discuss prospecting tips.

What’s a more arduous job than prospecting?

First, you have to go on foot or by horse to get to the site. Then you’ve got to pan and sift for the desired mineral for days — maybe even weeks — to collect enough to make the trip worth it.

And don’t even get me started on the other prospectors who set up camp right by yours. The nerve!

via Pinterest

I’m just teasing. We’re not talking about gold panning here. We’re talking about confident sales prospecting!

(On a separate note, there are some startling parallels between American-frontier-mineral prospecting and modern sales prospecting… coincidence?)

Nevertheless, we’re going to cover six pro tips for confident prospecting. It’s hard enough to cold-call dozens of prospects in a day, but to do it confidently?

I know, I know. I was once in your shoes, a veteran SDR myself. But it doesn’t have to be that bad!

To have your best day prospecting, try these six sales prospecting tips:

  1. Shake everything off once you step into work.
  2. Find a prospecting anthem (aka, a pump-up song).
  3. Have motivating visuals at your desk.
  4. Create a parking lot for questions.
  5. Use time-blocking.
  6. Thank coworkers when they do something to help you.

Let’s explore these ideas a little more in-depth.

This post is based on a podcast featuring Lori Richardson of Score More Sales. To hear this episode and more like it, subscribe to The B2B Sales Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

1. Shake off all the outside stuff when you step into the office

I know my business colleague and friend, James Carbary, would take this opportunity to break out into the song by his favorite musician of all time:

“Shake it off, shake it off! Ooo, ooo, ooo!”

I won’t subject you to that; however, TSwift does make a solid point.

via giphy.com

To have your best day of prospecting ever, the first tip is to shake off all the out-of-work stuff. Ever hear the phrase, “Leave it on the court?” Leave the distractions out of the office.

Whether you work in-office or remotely, there needs to be a mindset shift when it’s time to focus. Don’t let a familial argument, a spilled coffee, or a shoe covered in doggy doo-doo affect your state-of-mind at work.

In other words, turn off your personal issues. Learning to compartmentalize life and work is a great strategy for sales pros.

Especially when you need to get some prospecting done. More confident prospecting = shaking outside stuff off.

2. Find a sales prospecting anthem

Does this sound corny? Good. That means it’s working.

Finding a pump-up song to play before diving into those cold calls can help turn your average prospecting into confident sales prospecting!

Back in the day, my prospecting anthem was Eye of the Tiger. Now, I play some Lizzo whenever I need to summon confidence for prospecting.

HubSpot has even curated a playlist of songs meant to boost your sales confidence! (Some of these are real bangers. Check out all 40 songs here.)

via HubSpot

Music can help you get into the right frame-of-mind for confident sales prospecting. It’s worked wonders for me!

3. Have motivating visuals at your desk

Your family. Your dog. The Tesla you want to buy. A visual representation of your student loans.

Whatever motivates you, have a picture of it at your desk. This strategy can keep you going through the mundane and challenging times of the sales profession.

"You're not going to close any business unless you're connecting with real prospective buyers and the people who influence them."

Lori Richardson

The next time you need to make some cold calls or write outreach emails, take a look at why you’re doing it. Your kid. A place you want to move to. That 1969 Les Paul you’ve had your heart set on.

via Unsplash

Having motivational visuals around your work area can drive you to make one last call, write one last email, make one more connection on LinkedIn. And, sometimes, that’s the ticket to success.

4. Create a parking lot for questions

Remember the days of going over to your manager’s desk to ask a question, only to return five minutes later with another question?

Maybe you’re in those days now.

Maybe you’re asking these never-ending questions over Slack.

Either way, it’s not a great feeling. And it’s even less fun for your manager.

Plus, all this question-asking is eating into the time you should be using for prospecting! That’s why the fourth tip for confident sales prospecting is to make a parking lot (aka, a log) of questions.

Each time you have a question, jot it down in a Google doc or on a sticky note. Then, once you have three or four compiled, bring them to your manager.

Not only does this save you and your manager time, but it also allows you to continue focusing on prospecting. This keeps the momentum rolling.

5. Start time-blocking

This is a skill that, when mastered, will help you in all facets of work and life.

Carving out a specific amount of time each week for prospecting will help you mentally prepare and stay on track. Thinking you’ll just “get to it when you get to it” will not suffice and could cost you your job.

To begin time-blocking, take note of the following steps.

  1. Categorize your tasks into common themes. For example, checking Twitter, Facebook, and G2 can be categorized under Social Listening.
  2. Prioritize your work. Allocate your most productive time to your most important tasks.
  3. Stick to your plan. Follow your schedule as rigidly as possible.
  4. Reevaluate your plan. After following your schedule for an extended period of time, look back to see if anything can be optimized.

Allowing yourself the time to focus on prospecting will increase your confidence while doing so. Furthermore, you know you’re getting the practice that refines your sales prospecting skills.

6. Thank your coworkers for helping you

The sixth and final tip for confident sales prospecting!

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you thank someone who helped you and then they get that warm, fuzzy feeling? Then, they thank you for helping them and it starts all over again?

via Unsplash

"The more you appreciate people, especially as the new person, the better you'll be received by everyone in the office."

Lori Richardson

Being grateful for someone’s help just makes you feel good. Plus, they’re more likely to thank you in return, which is really awesome.

This can increase your prospecting confidence because it improves your mood overall.

Who thought being nice to people would make you feel good inside? Crazy!

Confident sales prospecting tips

Throughout all of these tips, one theme stands tall: It takes practice to achieve confident sales prospecting.

via Unspalsh

It won’t happen overnight. However, by sticking to the methods listed above, you’ll be on the right track to sales prospecting confidence. All aboard!

Want more top-notch B2B sales insights? Subscribe to The B2B Sales Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.