If you want to connect with key prospects like decision-makers at large companies or other hard to reach prospects, you MUST understand the psychology of prospecting to be effective.
The truth is, it’s not just your prospecting tactics that are vital, it’s the ability to understand what motivates your prospect that will drive your approach - and their response.
Without being crystal clear on the types of businesses you want to work with and why they would want to work with you, your prospects will always see you as a solicitor, not a trusted peer.
MOST people mess this up.
They focus solely on the tactics or act of prospecting instead of the psychology behind how they’ll choose who to prospect for.
It would be like trying to strike oil by just going out in your backyard and starting to shovel.
And this matters because:
If you think you can work with everyone and should, therefore, find anyone with money you are wrong (and probably frustrated)
If you don’t know who your ideal prospect is, where they are coming from, what motivates them, or what deciding factors they’re considering… there is no way you can gain their trust quickly enough to keep their attention and close a deal.
Leverage Psychology to Simplify Your Marketing and Prospect Outreach
But the scariest part? I had zero prospects. All I had was my work ethic and a crazy idea that I could do this. Somehow.
But I needed clients. And I struggled at first.
I felt like I was doing everything right...
I spent hours writing blogs...
I went to ALL of the networking events…
I was tweeting all the time...
I sent out Facebook posts all day…
I tried to optimize my website with the latest and greatest SEO tactics…
The results? All that work only brought me more stress and a dwindling bank account.
That’s when I turned to LinkedIn and personal email.
You see… there are simply a sh!tload of people on LinkedIn who could be your clients.
Everyone knows that. But not everyone actually does something about it. And not everyone wants to spend all day digging around on LinkedIn.
Your ability to tap into that goldmine depends on how you hand-select and connect with those potential clients.
I saw LinkedIn as a key place to connect directly with the decision-makers I needed to talk to. And I knew that if I could transition that conversation to personal email I would have enough of a foot in the door to get them on a meeting to talk about our businesses… and eventually how I could help them grow theirs.
When going after clients, it all depends on how you go about prospecting. You can focus on the tactics you’ll find online like I had been doing, but I didn’t have any success until I understood this one thing…
It all starts with understanding the psychology behind prospecting and knowing the firmographics, demographics, and psychographics of the people you want to work with.
Knowing this will make sure that:
You’re focused on the right people.
You have the right messaging (and tone).
You’re spending your time on tasks you know will pay off. Tasks that will actually bring new revenue and clients to your business.
So what are the things you need to know about your ideal prospects in order to attract and start a dialogue?
Here’s a good place to start…
Learn How We Structure LEAD Generator Campaigns To Attract Prospects, Gain Their Trust, And Turn Them Into Paying Clients... FAST! Watch The Breakdown Video Here.
The Questions You Need To Answer
Start with understanding the basic demographics and how they affect the work and daily life of your prospects:
What Is Their Job Title?
You need to know who is the decision-maker at the companies you want to speak with. Who is actually going to be able to make the decision to work with you? Is it the owner? CMO? Plant Manager?
This will help you better understand their day-to-day, who they report to, who they work with, and what motivates them (for example, you’ll know that a marketing director might need help with data in order to make good decisions, but they will want to look good and deliver results for their CEO).
What Industry Are They In?
Know what types of businesses you get the best results for. What industries can afford what you charge? In other words, what industry is most valuable to you? And what industry are you most valuable to?
And look, a lot of you may be sitting there saying that you can help ANY industry.
Sure. That MAY be true.
But there are going to be a handful of industries that are best. That’s where you should start. Or at a minimum some industries that ARE NOT a good fit. This will allow you to niche down your messaging and positioning to help you stand out from your competitors.
Where Are They?
Are you only going to work with people in your hometown? Your region? Or can you work with people all over the world? This may seem like a simple one but it will let you know what kind of opportunity is out there.
Big difference when targeting nationally vs. within a 50-mile radius in terms of volume.
How Large Is Their Company?
What is your sweet spot for a company size you'd like to work with? Small businesses? Fortune 500 companies with thousands of employees? Remember that the best clients are people who are already aware of the problem you can help them solve and who can pay without a problem (ie they have a budget for services like yours).
Now, everything I just went through is not only important to your positioning but is also SEARCHABLE within LinkedIn. You can take all of the information above, plug it into LinkedIn and then see thousands to hundreds of thousands of prospects who fit the bill as your IDEAL prospect.
Next, you must also consider things like your prospects' values and professional attributes.
What Values and Professional Attributes Are Important to Them?
Ask who influences their decision making, what do they often worry about professionally? What deeper pain points are you here to solve for them?
Let’s talk about that for just a minute -
When you look at your prospect’s values, you want to know what makes them tick. It goes beyond knowing whether or not they have conservative or liberal values… or even the general goals they have.
You need to be more specific and think of the benefits of the benefits. For example, put yourself in their shoes and think of their current situation and what their current situation after they buy your products or services would mean to them.
Does it mean they consistently deliver great results and get promoted? Which means they can take their family on vacation or buy the car they’ve been looking at? Does it mean their business reaches their revenue goals and they can hire more people and plan for next year, giving them some peace of mind?
You need to know specifically what pain points they have - those things that your service can fix, including how it affects their day, their team, their business, and their life. Describe it as well as they can, or better.
Answer the classic question - “what keeps them up at night?” and know how these worries make them feel.
You should also know what they’ve already done to alleviate those pain points, what they’ve been researching and what questions they have going forward. What are the obstacles they are looking to overcome and how do you fit into that? You should be aware of what kinds of risks they have to assume.
It’s impossible to know this without speaking with them. But based on your experience with other businesses or professionals like them you should be able to dial in a decent profile of what they’re going through.
Finally, you need to be very clear on what their goal is. What is the perfect solution? Keep in mind, they might not even be aware of it, they might just know they have a problem and want it fixed.
Guiding them to the goal through proper messaging (through LinkedIn & personal email) and through your sales conversations goes a long way in painting you as one of the good guys.
All of this will give you a better idea of the “before” and “after” picture and how they make their decisions.
The Three Important Psychological Triggers Most People Ignore
Remember - you have one overriding goal when you’re prospecting – to get a meeting with a potential decision-maker.
You know that in order to get them to the point that they’re open to a sales conversation with you, you need to know what drives them, what objectives they’ll have to overcome, and what factors are involved.
Leverage these psychological factors as well:
1.) Build Trust
The absolute WORST thing you can do is to head straight for the sale. You must spend time building trust and relationships with your prospects.
And to do that, you need to understand them in order to connect with them and provide value they appreciate. At the outset, it sounds like a ton of work, but that’s where a system comes in. It will streamline the tasks that actually help move your prospects to book an appointment with you.
2.) Maintain a Mindset Focused on Hyper-Focused Targeting
I learned this the hard way through experience. Like I said earlier, I was doing everything “they” said you need to do, but it wasn’t working.
So when I started prospecting on LinkedIn, I realized a critical factor right away:
That I had to be more targeted in my approach and connect directly with key people, as opposed to writing blogs hoping a quality target would be interested.
This meant I had to do some research on a niche or a very targeted type of prospect that I could then search for and connect with on LinkedIn.
3.) Build Authority (In Their Eyes)
I also realized that I had to have a way to position myself as an authority so that I could stand out head and shoulders above my competitors.
This is another psychological factor you need to think about because when people are unsure of what to do, typically they want to defer to an expert, someone they view as having superior knowledge or wisdom.
It’s a strong reason for them to consider meeting with you as opposed to someone who lacks expertise or at least has not proven their expertise to their market.
What It Feels Like to Connect With Prospects Like This
When I was starting out and trying to get clients, I focused more on the psychology of prospecting rather than the tactics...
First, I decided who I wanted to work with based on my past experience in the construction industry and started sending out connection invites to very targeted, high-end prospects I had researched.
Once I decided who I wanted to work with and really dove into the research to answer all those questions above - who they are, what they want and need, and what it would take for them to buy, only then could I really put a plan in place and start sending out connection requests, LinkedIn messages, and most importantly, personal emails.
Then once they accepted my connection requests, over a period of several weeks, I’d send them a series of messages and personal emails that offered content and value that both helped position me as a knowledgeable expert and helped overcome their objections.
This is one way I learned to build trust with my prospects. Just the fact that they saw my name often built a familiarity with me that allowed them to feel confident in booking consultations.
Another thing I did to amplify trust and build more authority in my industry was creating a LinkedIn group and using it to position myself as an equal (not just a vendor) that brought together a group of business owners (who all happened to be my ideal clients). You can use the authority factor by your job title, your years in business or years of experience, awards, degrees, credentials, etc.
Really, any opportunity to get this information in front of a prospect conveys you have expertise.
For me, during this time I didn’t have much experience as an “outsourced CFO” so I had to get creative and creating a LinkedIn group allowed me to give myself a new title as the founder of a valuable resource for my prospects.
Doing this consistently is exactly how I landed my first client. I was elated. It felt like I could finally breathe. I knew I was going to win. This was just the beginning.
Now, you’ll notice that yes, I did use tactics (like creating a group, positioning myself, and sending out targeted messaging campaigns), but they were all driven by the psychology behind it - the need my prospects had to trust me before I even thought about pitching them on my high-end services as a CFO.
By the way, that first client was intrigued by how I was getting clients using personal email and LinkedIn and asked me to do the same for them. Then enough people asked me for help that I developed a way to automate 90% of the leg work. I wanted this to be accessible for everyone.
That’s how Connect 365 was born. Since then, we’ve refined the system and worked with thousands of businesses, implementing the same steps to help them build a constant stream of high end, quality clients coming in the door every single month.
Fast forward to today, our clients realize the value of making targeted connections and building relationships that lead to sales opportunities, but it does take time and consistent effort.
That’s why they turn to us for help.
And with increased numbers of leads coming in, they tend to stay around because they’re getting more clients and growing their businesses.