October 29

Seven prospecting rules that produce leads

Inside Sales


The phone is a powerful and effective lead generation tool. Its the human touch of a lead nurturing program.

That’s why every opportunity – including cold calling –  should be treated with great respect. Each time you pick up the phone, whether it’s the first or third call, it’s important you create value in that touch. Your goal with each call should be to give your prospects something useful in a digestible, bite-size chunk.

That being said, the phone must be used as a part of a holistic lead generation strategy. Whether you create a specialized sales development team within the Sales or Marketing groups or hire a firm that specializes in teleprospecting, your cold calling plan must be aligned with all your other ongoing marketing and reputation-building activities.

A while back, I was asked to write a guest blog post for the ZoomInfo Sales and Marketing Blog that I titled “7 prospecting rules that produce leads.” That little post was so popular that the ZoomInfo folks asked if I would consider teaching a webinar. I did and in case you missed it there are two convenient ways you can review it on demand:

Watch the Presentation

Read the Executive Summary here There are 7 prospecting rules that should be followed if organizations want to make the best of their efforts:

  1. Sustain the calling: Be in it for the long-haul; it has to be consistent and long-term.
  2. Make every call count: If the person you are calling isn’t with the company any longer, ask for another contact.
  3. Throw away the scripts: Telemarketers use scripts. Teleprospectors use guides.
  4. Respect the Executive Assistants: Don’t ever treat anyone as a “lesser.” EAs have the boss’ ear!
  5. Always be relevant and über-informed: Know about the company and their issues so you can conduct meaningful dialogue.
  6. Gain opt-in: Get permission to follow up with more information through email.
  7. Always follow up: Follow up promptly and relevantly. Only follow up in the manner that has been requested.

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About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing.

He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Prospecting rule #1 is imperative. I have recently found that much of cold calling is establishing a relationship that could take a year to consummate. Many of the clents that I call for do not have the patients to nurture that long term contact. However, cold and warm calling, especially in the economic down turn calls for long term thoughtful nurturing,

  2. The rules sound interesting but some of them are very obvious and one should be oblivious of them such as don’t cram a script but if you do, don’t ever try to deliver it in one breath. You have to make your prospect feel that he/she is talking to a human not an automated machine. Always keep an alternative of prospect’s concerns. For instance, if he/she argues on price or something else try to show him/her other cards you have. Last but the most important try to be as much polite and relevant as you can.

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