The remote working setup has become a viable and popular option for several industries. Because of this shift, many practices in these industries have been taken to a virtual space. This is especially true for sales, where prospecting is now mostly conducted online.
Much like with every significant change, adaptation is key to maintain and eventually excel in virtual sales. Prospects are now spending more time online because of work or to keep themselves informed and entertained. Hence, more businesses are putting greater effort into ways of reaching and engaging with prospects online.
You can use plenty of methods to reach out to your prospects, but the questions you need answers to are: are they effective, and are you utilizing the mediums you’re using to their full potential. On the other hand, if you haven’t done prospecting online ever, it’s a must that you know what you’re doing so your efforts and investment won’t be in vain. With that in mind, here are ways to reach prospects in the new normal of remote working.
Become a thought leader
One of the best ways to prospect while working remotely is to work on being a thought leader. Being a thought leader means your insights are valuable to your industry. People turn to you for solutions to their problems, which is something that most consumers look for in a brand nowadays.
The principle behind being a thought leader is having your prospects go to you instead of the traditional approach of you doing the outreach. It will take a lot of work and time, but if you’re consistent, it’ll be worth it. Consistency in creating quality content is the foundation of becoming a thought leader in your industry.
Ways to be a thought leader
Here are ways on how you can be seen as a thought leader:
a) Create and share quality content
Content is king when it comes to this kind of approach to prospecting. At the same time, the current landscape of things in our society dictates that content will always prevail. The move to the digital transformation of most businesses continues to persist, which convinces more consumers who belong in different demographics to go digital as well.
Due to the pandemic, the time and number of people who spend time on social media increased. That means they’re exposed to digital content every time they’re online. You can take advantage of that by finding out the common questions, objections, and other kinds of feedback your ideal prospects come to you with.
Once you’ve done that, you can start coming up with your content strategy. Think about the relevant topics that consistently come up on the online feedback that you read. From there, you can decide on which format you’ll use to create your content.
You can activate your blog, as articles are still potent content pieces, as you can see with search engines. According to a list of recent blogging statistics, roughly 409 million internet users read about 20 billion blog pages monthly. So blogging isn’t only an effective way to be seen as a thought leader, but it’s also a nice way to attract attention.
You can blog about any relevant topic related to your industry. It doesn’t have to be necessarily about your company or yourself. It could be anything related to what you do, your products and services, or your customers.
You can start a blog or write one on your company’s website. You can also write as a guest for magazines and other blogs with authority in your industry. Other than that, you can also ask a blogger or journalist or any people with influence online, someone who is more popularly known nowadays as a social influencer, to blog about your company to attract more prospective customers.
You can also produce other forms of content, such as videos. Videos are considered to be the most engaging content format by many digital marketers. In fact, 87% of digital marketers use video content, with explainer videos being the most popular kind, and 49% of them saw an increase in revenue than non-video users.
It’s become easier to create video content with abundant video-producing apps online, such as Renderforest and Powtoon. If you decide to create video content, you can choose various video software online tailored for businesses. In this regard, you can consider them as one of the best remote working tools for prospecting.
b) Be active on social media
Almost everyone you know probably has at least one social media account. It’s the easiest way to attract attention to your brand and products because it isn’t just popular; different social media platforms provide plenty of tools for businesses to reach, engage, and convert prospects.
You should start by seeing social media as a place to continue building your reputation as one. Many brands have found success on social media, and you can too because you can utilize it to be seen as a thought leader.
Utilizing social media is also suited for your remote sales and marketing teams since they can use and monitor it daily and in real-time. You can use QR code for social media to boost your social media channels to increase brand awareness and boost sales.
One of the main points you should note is that you don’t have to sell your product or share content on every social media platform. Return to your ideal prospect and determine which platform they spend the most time using. Once you’ve identified which one it is, you can start planning how you’re going to reach your prospects, i.e., what content or format is best for the platform.
For instance, Instagram (IG) is a great medium to post content regarding your prospects’ lifestyle because it’s a photo and video posting site. Creating a prospect avatar will help in producing the right content for your lifestyle IG post. These kinds of posts are best for your prospects who use IG because it’s an easy way to get them to know your brand on a personal level.
Social media platforms are also the best way to amplify your brand’s reach. You can share your company blogs, guest blogs on other blogs and online publications, or relevant news articles about your industry. That way, you’re sending a message to your prospects that you are updated about the current situation of your industry, just like a thought leader.
When sharing a blog by another blogger, resource person, or brand, be sure to mention their names. You should use hashtags to widen your post’s reach so that more users can see it all across the platform and other social media. Just don’t use too many that it outshines your message.
Another point to keep in mind when being active on social media is to talk to your prospects like people. Refer to your prospect avatar when writing captions of your posts to ensure your messages sound authentic and helpful. Talk to your prospects, not at them.
Connect with your prospects directly
Once you’ve established yourself as a thought leader, you can directly connect with your prospects. You’re now generating traffic to your website and blogs that hopefully turn into requests for more information about your products. You can use that phase also to do the same so that you can communicate with your prospects outside social media and the virtual space.
Using other channels to connect with them will help move the sales process forward. The most common way to do this is through phone calls. You can obtain your prospects’ phone numbers by sending them an email asking for it when they register to receive your mailing list after navigating through your website or blogs.
You can place a pop-up box on your website that prompts visitors to type in their emails or however they prefer to be reached. If your prospects came there from your blog, then it’s highly likely that they’ll want more details from your business.
Aside from phone calls, you can also send them text messages. You can send a text message to your prospects as an answer to an inquiry they had. Besides that, you can also add details of new offers on texts regarding an order status to know about them. For inspiration, check out these sales text message examples from Open Phone
Paid media campaigns
Apart from social media and creating content, you can also explore paid methods of prospecting, such as paid media campaigns. It’s a more feasible option recently as economies from several parts of the world are starting to reopen again. You can invest in paid online media ads to attract more prospects to visit your physical store as restrictions ease.
Be sure to note that when you’re selecting the demographics of your target prospects when you’re about to run your campaigns. Depending on some people’s working arrangements, some still have a chance to go outside during off-days, so you should take advantage of that.
As previously mentioned, you should also check your ad copy to ensure that you’re sending the right messages to your prospects. You wouldn’t want to damage your reputation with the wrong tone or message.
In a world currently dominated by the remote working environment, these are the best ways to reach prospects. Focus on establishing your brand as an option that consumers can turn to for answers, utilize social media at its fullest, use other channels to connect with prospects, and invest in online advertising. These are now the ways to navigate the landscape of virtual sales and be successful in the process.
Edwin Deponte is a motivational writer who is also passionate about anything digital and social media marketing-related. On his free days, he spends his time indulging in digital and social media marketing books.