Prospecting Spotlight: 3 Trigger Events to Watch For

Artist Jenny Holzer says in her piece Truisms, “A sense of timing is the mark of a genius.” This couldn’t be more accurate within the world of prospecting.

When you’re cold calling and someone picks up the phone, the first question on their mind is often “Why are you contacting me?”

A well-researched answer providing your prospect with a potential benefit is the key to unlocking access from the gatekeeper. This step is critical for reaching your decision maker as soon as possible.

We spoke with a woman who was a Business Development Representative at NetSuite, responsible for setting introductory meetings for Account Executives. This series discusses the top three trigger events she had the most success with and why they work:  they are Leadership Changes, Expansion and Awards & Accomplishments.

1.     Leadership Changes

Reviewing press releases, company blogs, and other news sources like corporate LinkedIn pages are the best ways to learn of any changes in executive leadership. Setting up some sort of news alert feed that summarizes from these sources is an easy, time-efficient way to stay on top of your target accounts.

Executive promotions often go hand in hand with some sort of bigger strategic agenda. Understanding why this person has a new role could ultimately lead to a new opportunity. Start with a congratulatory note or call and see where that takes you.

If your congratulatory email gets a nibble – congratulations to you! How you respond sets the stage for the course of your relationship with this individual.

The key to success here is establishing yourself as someone who is genuine, can provide value, and who has their best interests first. Even though we all know you’re here in hopes of closing a deal, one must remember the old proverb “The best archer never reveals his target until it’s been hit”. In this case, your target is the deal.

Sometimes you will luck out and there is an immediate need for the products or services that you are offering. If not, patience is required (see our previous post, Building Patience into the Sales Process).

Illustrate how your company is an industry expert in their field. Thoughtful whitepapers, articles on industry trends, and any other resources you come across are helpful tools you can share with your decision maker to keep you on the top of their mind.  The secret is not to overwhelm.

When the buying time arrives, you’ll be far ahead of the competition because you already have a relationship with the decision maker. You are the one informing them of best practices, the tough questions to ask, and will be the one they’re comparing everyone else to. In a sense, they are deciding why not to go with you – pretty amazing position to be in all from a little “Congratulations on the new gig!”

Sales can be a numbers game and prospecting is a key success factor we must not underestimate. Effectively tailoring your prospecting strategy enables a sales force to work smarter, not harder. Analyzing and addressing the right trigger events will distinguish you and provides a head start against the competition.

Check in on our next post elaborating on how to leverage a prospect’s news of expansion into closing a new deal.