Buyer-Focused Prospecting

By Lain Ehmann

Prospecting can be a tough skill to break apart and conquer. That’s why the sales training experts at Huthwaite have created a new program titled, “Buyer-Focused Prospecting.” This one-day seminar takes a targeted, step-by-step approach to developing compelling, buyer-focused messages. “The focus of the program is messaging: What are you going to say or write to engage the person you’re speaking to?” says Trish Phillips, vice president of design services for Huthwaite.

Huthwaite’s approach asks participants to think through the current and urgent trends and issues prospects are facing, and then to use these topics as hooks to pull in prospects from the word go. After identifying hot-button issues, participants work backwards to link the topics to their company’s problem-solving capabilities. “You kind of reverse-engineer the messaging,” says Phillips. Reps are led through an analysis of how the issue manifests itself within the organization and for different individuals in different parts of the company.

The seminar follows a top-down approach. “We get sellers thinking about the big picture first,” she explains. Then sellers look at what problems or opportunities their prospects face and what will happen if the prospect doesn’t address the threat or challenge. Reps must be provocative before they’re informative. “The key message is provoke, persuade, propose,” says Phillips.

Participants say a big difference between Huthwaite’s program and others is the focus on messaging rather than motivation. “It really gives a step-by-step guide about how to be productive,” says Kristen Ream, manager of sales training for the business communications firm The Relizon Company in Dayton, OH. Relizon, which has 320 account executives nationwide and an additional 128 account managers, selected Huthwaite’s program for its ability to get into both prospects’ and sellers’ minds.

Huthwaite’s buyer-focused prospecting bridges the gap between the high-level idea of prospecting and the nuts-and-bolts actions needed to be successful, says Ream. “It finally put some parameters around prospecting and gave us something to think about,” she says.

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