Liz and William discuss the best practices for engaging prospects in the UK to generate highly qualified sales opportunities.
1. How would you compare lead generation outreach in the UK compared to other markets?
Like any region that we cover (and we basically cover all of them, Asia, Africa, EMEA mid-east, North & South America, the moon if we could!), the UK is certainly different in many respects, and it probably requires a holistic lead generation strategy to include all forms of outreach across channels including: telemarketing, social selling, content marketing, emailing etc.
2. Are UK-based prospects generally receptive to being called or do you think social selling is the only way to go?
There is no doubt social selling is the best way to go; you can tailor your approach depending on a prospect’s profile prior to engaging and then obviously share content which may draw their attention. It is easier for people to chat now as most people in the UK seem to have LinkedIn on their phone, which can make communication go faster. It is pretty hard to get around the receptionist these days, and many people are not yet working back in an office environment, which makes calling more difficult.
3. What are some things you have to keep in mind when engaging prospects in the UK? Perhaps you could share some culture norms or general tips from your experience over the years?
Over the years, I have tried 2 types of approaches when it comes to social selling or even emailing a prospect who is willing to engage. With social selling if you are going to pitch from the get-go without gently starting a conversation, 9 times out of 10 prospects will just ignore you. But if you make the time to start a conversation that catches their interest, you have more chance of engaging in a way that will allow you to understand their business and what they do. It’s really about building a relationship with prospects, not about going in for a “hard sell” from the get-go.
It’s really no different when emailing a prospect; it is important to understand what they do and reach out accordingly. Then you can bridge to how your product fits into their potential requirements, get the person’s attention while not being too salesy.
Generating an interest, finding a need or potential need is all that is required from a lead generation specialist. The sales rep who gets the lead then takes it from there.
4. If I were a software vendor looking to branch out and target the UK for the first time, what advice would you give me to get started?
A good marketing strategy! I think with the UK if you are purely looking for sales opportunities you are probably looking at laser focusing your outreach approach per account. Make sure you are targeting the right accounts in line. Spend time doing market intelligence, invest in social selling. Have good content to share. Consider webinars, as they seem to be quite popular in the UK and globally. Give yourself every opportunity. I say this without offending anyone but in the UK there has to be something in it for them to want to respond.
5. Could you briefly discuss how you develop the “perfect pitch”? Is there such a thing?
To tell you the truth, I don’t believe in the “perfect pitch” right or wrong. Unless you understand your prospect, company, his role within the company, what the product/ project is, it’s near impossible to pitch a prospect. I tend to engage, have a conversation and granularly pitch over a number of messages. It is important to understand where the product/solution/service that you are offering can fit into their business/product. A great woman once told me be curious – use this in your outreach.
6. What do you do if a prospect is unresponsive?
I bombard him! Just kidding! I generally will use a number of methods to communicate just to see if it draws anything, but otherwise with most companies they tend to have loads of other prospects to target. I always think if you’re confident and consistent in your approach, people who are interested will respond and the others won’t for obvious reasons.
7. What are some other do’s and don’ts that you would like to share with our audience today?
Be the opposite of salesy. Really understand your prospect and company. A company might have 20 products and solutions so you are going to need to identify who manages what. “Can’t talk about tires if they prospect is managing the side mirrors…”
Don’t over-post content, and be willing to try different approaches. Use current events to your favour (whatever that might be).