Top 3 Sales Prospecting Mistakes (and Quick Fixes)

Spread the love

If you aren’t getting any response to your sales prospecting outreach, you might be guilty of making these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Pitching in your sales outreach

It’s tempting to explain why you’re sending a prospect an email, direct message, or leaving a voicemail, but don’t! This lets your prospect scan, decide “no”, then put you on auto-ignore. It also automatically makes your message too long and your tone too salesy.

The purpose of the outreach message is to gain attention and engage – to get the opportunity to pitch, not to pitch itself. That means your goal is to make them smile, notice who you are, type a quick reply –  NOT take themselves all the way down your sales funnel and be ready to purchase (it takes time, folks).

Try sending 3-4 lines of a personal connection and a short closed-question (NOT related to your quota) instead.

READ: Sales Outreach: How to Incorporate Emails and Phone Calls Into Your Sequences

Mistake #2: Value propping in the message

Of course you want to explain who you are, what you do, and why they care, but if you’re trying, you’ve already typed too much! Like above, the outreach is to engage, and using a marketing-approved value prop probably sounds a little pitchy. 

One sure way to get more attention instead is to make the message about THEM, not about you. Try some flattery or ask a short question instead. 

Nope, don’t try to shortcut this with some social proof or other customer names, that’s cheating! Message one should NOT be about selling them, it’s about engaging them instead. You got it!

READ: 4 Time-Saving Sales Prospecting Strategies

Mistake #3: Assuming my business

A few years ago I won an award for being a top coach in sales. Since then I’ve received over 1000 sales pitches promising to help me improve my coaching business. I have a training business that uses coaching to get results, not a coaching business. 

Don’t make the same mistake by using phrases like, “I work with businesses like yours,” or “I help ____ like you.” You may be right, you may be wrong, but it irks me to think a stranger thinks they know what I need more than I do.

To correct this, you could try showing your understanding and making a hypothesis instead. Turn, “I help training companies fix their SEO problems” into, “You train B2B sales right? Would I be anywhere close by guessing you get inbound leads?”

This message showed a bit more humility and didn’t automatically assume my business NOR make me wrong. Nobody wants to feel like an idiot – especially not by a young seller.

Remember, the goal of initial outreach isn’t to close a sale right off the bat but to spark a connection and get the prospect talking. By focusing on creating a genuine rapport, asking questions that matter, and demonstrating an honest curiosity about their needs, you set the stage for a dialogue that can lead to more than just a transaction—it can lead to a partnership. So, let’s ditch the pitch, tune into the specifics of our prospects, and start our conversations on a note of authentic interest. After all, in the realm of sales, a thoughtful approach is not just appreciated, it’s rewarded.

Outbound prospecting is tough. Want to get a leg up? Take our online course, SWIIFT℠ Introductions That Work, to learn how our SWIIFT℠ methodology will help reframe your messaging to capture a prospect’s attention immediately and get them talking to you.

Subscribe to our email list to receive new content, webinar invites, and training offers.

Spread the love