Prospecting Spotlight: How Awards & Accomplishments Start Conversations

In this final post of our three part “Prospecting Spotlight” series, we elaborate on the strategies for effectively getting in touch with key contacts after hearing news of an award or recognition for an innovative accomplishment.

After establishing your target account list, create a system to actively engage with an organization’s activity and their industry in general. My favorite method is setting up news alert feeds which summarize articles based on keywords of your choice, but do not let this be your only source of information. In sales, creativity is critical for success.

Expand your options. Networking is a powerful tool for acquiring information. Look for relevant events and do your homework by utilizing LinkedIn and other tools so you know exactly who to approach.

When the time to establish contact comes, equipping yourself with an appropriate opener is key. This is where the news of a recent award or accomplishment comes into play.

Maintaining authenticity is of paramount importance when using news of an award or accomplishment as your reason to establish contact. It will backfire and tarnish your reputation if a prospect gets the sense you are not being genuine. Flattery must be sincere to be effective.

Start by reaching out to whoever is highlighted in the article about your target company’s success. If there is not an obvious contact, use your detective skills to find someone with a relevant title. Even if your guess is incorrect, this honors the person you are reaching out to because it shows you attribute their efforts directly to the success of their organization.

Pull specifics from the article or their LinkedIn profile to use in your messaging. For example: “I saw you manage the worldwide product development team for Company X, congratulations on the success of….” Your goal is relating their responsibilities as it ties to the award or accomplishment.

If your prospect replies, gently probe on common pain points associated with the tasks behind their success. Demonstrate how you can help to solve their challenges with your products or services.  Prove how you are a valuable resource to similar organizations to your prospect with customer success stories.

If there is no immediate need, use the same approach for establishing yourself as an industry expert mentioned in the earlier articles of this series (*Link to* How Expansion Opens New Doors” & “Leadership Changes Create New Opportunities”) and wait patiently. There is no need to create artificial pressure and rush a prospect; your opportunity will come with time. Building out your pipeline is just as important for driving revenue as closing a deal this quarter.

Ultimately, with prospecting your goal is to be creative. The methodologies highlighted in our Prospecting Spotlight series all stem from the idea of putting your target prospect first. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People stresses the fact that everyone loves the sound of his or her own name. Leveraging this into sales is an extremely effective tool for prospecting.

There are seemingly infinite sales people competing against you to get a prospect’s attention. So many of them neglect this golden rule and craft their messaging about what their products or services are all about – everyone loves the sound of their name, but the salespeople who set themselves apart and get decision maker’s attention are those who like to hear the sound of their prospect’s name.