15 Power Tips and Tools for Prospecting Small Business Owners

Business prospecting may seem like a daunting task. You know that it’s essential, but you just don’t know where to start.  The good news is that prospecting for small business owners selling B2B (business to business) isn’t as hard as it seems. Here are some power tips and sales strategies for selling to business owners.

Prospecting for small business owners is quite easy. You need to have the right tools, such as online and offline prospecting tools.  Some examples include social media platforms online, phone, and door-to-door for offline, to name a few.

This article will help you to be successful with your small business prospecting. Before getting into it, let’s start with the basics.  Here’s a list that will get you started.

How to Begin Prospecting Small Business Owners

  1. Identify your audience

Every business has a problem. It needs solving, and you have a business that solves a problem.  Research the companies that have the problem your business can solve.

Once you figure out whose problems you can solve, you can build a more detailed demographic such as age, gender, and location, all of which are very important when looking for new business.

Start to market to those businesses that you can help with your product or service.

  1. Identify online means of prospecting

Are you aware of all the online platforms that are offered? Do some research on which social media platforms will best reach those small business owners. Some of them work better than others. You’ll have to decide which one works best for the business.

  1. Identify offline means of prospecting

Offline means of prospecting have been around since the beginning of time, it seems. Offline prospecting is getting out and hitting the pavement for business. 

An example of offline prospecting would be going out and just mingling with people. Hand out a few of your cards, and accept some as well.

We just took a small dip into how to prospect a small business owner.  Now let’s get into it. 

By the end of this article, any fears or doubts you have had will have disappeared, and you will be ready to get out and prospect those small business owners.

Here’s a list of what we’ll be touching on.

Online Business Tools for Prospecting Clients

  • Email
  • Social Media
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • E-newsletter
  • Website
  • Forums

Offline Prospecting Tools

  • Telephone
  • Direct Mail
  • Trade Shows
  • Door To Door
  • Television
  • Radio

Online Business Prospecting Tools

Here we will go over in-depth the advantages of using online prospecting tools for small business owners.

Email

Using email for business prospects is an excellent tool because it’s fast, reliable, free, and you can get access to it pretty much anywhere.

By sending emails about what your company can offer, it helps your prospect see just how excellent your service or product is.

When using email as a prospecting tool, remember that you must use an attractive and compelling title for your email.  If you don’t, it may never get opened, and you’ve lost the potential client.

Video emailing is a very creative way to send out to prospects, as well. The video doesn’t need to be very long. It gives the candidate a face to put to the name and makes it a little more personal.

Social Media

Linkedin

Every business owner should know what Linkedin is.  Linkedin is a monster platform for business professionals and owners. 

The platform works well to find new hires and business connections.  For prospecting, Linkedin can quicken, smooth, and make all sales prospecting profitable for your business.

Here are some great tips for using Linkedin to prospect small business owners.

1. Connect and attract

It’s crucial to see who you’re already connected with on Linkedin before you start your prospecting.

Existing contacts can potentially be your secret sauce for success. However, if most of the contacts on your list are non-work-related, you need to step up your game.

With each connection you make, more connections are triggered. Linkedin has a system where you can see if your contacts have a second or third connection that you could connect with, also.  So, you can see that the contacts on Linkedin could be endless.

If you meet someone at a seminar or trade show, make sure to follow up with them via a Linkedin connection request as soon as you can.  It will ensure that they will at least take a look at your profile and find out all the things you can offer them.

2. Know your target inside and out

Another great thing about Linkedin is that you can find out almost everything you need to know about a company.  Companies put in a lot of work on their Linkedin pages.

The information ranges from the company location, how many employees it has, who their employees are, all the departments, what they’re currently working on, where they want to be, and what they offer. It’s a gold mine for business owners who are prospecting.

All you need to do is study their Linkedin page, and you will be able to determine if the business is right for you and your business, as well as who you need to speak to while finding out all about them. 

Once you have all this great information, you’ll be ready to reach out to the owner and discuss what you can offer them.

3. Take advantage of groups

As you may well know, Linkedin groups often have people with the same interests, skills, and needs, so they’re an excellent source of leads. These groups offer you a way to gain knowledge about the types of business that you’re targeting for prospecting and be a unique way to gain new ones.

Groups can provide you with the following:

  • Information about happenings with your prospects’ businesses, any plans they’re working on if they’re in the market to hire, and more
  • Creating the importance of increasing your connections 
  • More intel on the business owner from a personal level

4. Transform your profile

The idea is to turn your profile into a generation lead profile. Since you’ve already reached out to prospects and groups, they’ll be coming over to your profile to check you out. 

Now is the time to turn your profile into a selling machine — the more information you put about your business, the better chance that you’ll get sales. 

While you’re transforming your profile, make sure to ask your existing clients to put in recommendations that show just how great you and your business are!  People are more likely to work and buy from a company when there are great reviews. 

A picture can tell a thousand words. Make sure to post a current photo of yourself, which means a professional image, not one from the last party you attended. You want to make a great first impression. 

If you don’t have any recent professional photos, go and get one ASAP!

5. Publish, publish, publish

Publishing daily on your LinkedIn page is essential for getting your business out there and gaining authority in what you offer. Small business owners will want to know they’re dealing with a company that knows what they’re doing.

By publishing with new content daily, you’re showing prospects that you’re a go-getter and passionate about your business. 

You should be publishing articles that explain what problems your target market needs solving, and that you can provide solutions to those problems. Content is excellent for creating trust and gaining valuable relationships and lets you reach your target audience right away.

Facebook

Facebook is another social media giant. With over one billion users, just about everyone has a Facebook account. This social media platform can help you with prospecting small business owners.

Small business owners will most likely have a Facebook account since they may not have a website depending on the need for it or not.

Here are some tips for using Facebook as a prospecting tool:

1. Update your profile

Always keep your Facebook business profile current. Make sure to include the business contact info, along with the services and products you offer.

2. Use CTAs

Make use of the CTA (call-to-action button) located under your cover photo on your profile. The essential CTA buttons for your business page are:

Call Now

Contact Us

Call Now

Message Us

3. High-quality content is a must

Frequent and high-quality content is a must when using Facebook for small business prospects.  Include your blog post, tip for your industry, and lots and lots of recommendations and testimonials.

The more you post excellent quality content on Facebook, the more potential traffic you will get to your site, leading to more sales and prospects. Ask your employees to share the business page so it can reach more and more people. 

4. Show your presence

Try to engage as much as you can on Facebook. Get your sales team to reach out to your small business prospects. The good thing with Facebook is that you can message someone that you’re not friends with yet. 

Use this to your full advantage and reach out to all your prospects.

Twitter

Twitter is an excellent tool for getting information out fast and to the point.  Most businesses have a Twitter account, so if you don’t have one yet, you may want to consider it.

When using Twitter for prospecting, you can expect to find new ways to connect with other businesses and potentially grow your business.

See below for prospecting tips using Twitter:

1. #Hashtags are golden

When using Twitter, hashtags and keywords are extremely important, so you must make sure to identify what those words are for your market and use them A LOT.  It’s a quick way to get word out to your prospects about what you and your business do and stand for.

You’ll have to monitor those keywords frequently because things change fast. An excellent tool to use on Twitter to watch these words is the Tweetdeck. It keeps up with the current tweets that have to do with keywords.

Hashtags must frequently be employed, meaning a few times a day.  The posts only stay on for so long, so you want to make sure your prospects often see new content.

2. Follow competitors and their followers

As a business owner, you should always know what the competition is doing.

Every follower of theirs could be a prospect for you, so it’s a good idea to follow them. Don’t stop there, though; you should always be looking for other pertinent businesses and people to add to your list.

By following competitors and their followers, they may end up following you back, building your army of followers. Business owners like to see a massive following for businesses that they may want to establish a relationship with.

Instagram

This social media platform is on fire right now.  Everyone with a business wants a piece of Instagram.

While the other social media platforms are more focused on written content, Instagram is mainly visual. People love pictures, so we give them pictures!

The best way to succeed on this platform is to make sure you establish the right connections.  One should know exactly who one wants and needs to target. 

Here are a few tips to help you on your way to Instagram success:

1. Ads Targeting the Appropriate People

When setting up ads on Instagram, it’s crucial to reach the target audience. To reach your target audience, you should be setting up your ads based on interests, demographics, and age, along with anything else you think will attract your target audience.

2. #Hashtags

Instagram is prominent on hashtags. Use hashtags as much as you can, and look out for ones that could potentially bring in sales. 

Searching for hashtags can open the door for business, as they will show you numerous potential customers right in front of you.

3. Engage, engage, engage

Instagram is not only about visuals, but it’s massive on engagement, as well. You must engage every day, and more than once.

Once you find your target audience, follow them, and make sure to comment and like as much as you can. There’s also a DM (direct message) that you could use to send more in-depth information about your business.

Professionally use these methods and remember to be consistent. Do this, and you should have better luck gaining followers and customers.

E-Newsletter

Sending out e-newsletters to small business owners can be significant. E-newsletters are usually sent out monthly or weekly, depending on what you decide.

E-newsletters are gaining in popularity. Marketers will issue e-newsletters as part of the company’s strategy to increase more clients. I agree! Email newsletters have consistently been one of my top money-making sales tools. 

Forums

Using a forum for prospecting business can be a useful tool. You will have to find the proper forums for your industry and business. 

Forums usually consist of individuals who have a problem and are looking for the answer to their question. Potential customers are there right at your fingertips.

Find the right forum(s), and you can gain a lot of business. Forums allow people to add links, videos, articles, etc. Just think of all the great things you can add to a discussion about your business. 

A bonus with forums is that you can sign up for free most of the time so you can advertise your company for free. 

Websites

Having a website puts you at an advantage. People visit websites because they want to see what a business can offer them. 

Even though using your website for prospecting small business owners is not the most popular, it’s still a way to reach potential business owners. 

Here are some tips for using your website to prospect for small business owners.

  • Place call-to-actions throughout the site
  • Write audience-targeted content, and lots of it
  • Keep your blog current and engaging
  • Include in your blog posts the problems that you can solve
  • Create a page for testimonials and recommendations
  • Personalize your blog posts. Let your prospects know that you feel for them, and you can solve their problem.

Offline Prospecting Tools

Telephone

The good old telephone is one offline prospecting tools. It’s been used for a long time and is a great way to have a one-on-one with a business owner.

Here are some tips for using a telephone for prospecting a small business owner:

  • Research the business(s) you want to contact
  • Create a “script/template” for what you’re going to talk about
  • Practice
  • Phone prospect
  • Make your call informative and personal
  • Let the prospect know how they will be able to reach you.
  • Set up a date for a follow-up

Direct Mail

Sending out mass mailers to prospects is another offline prospecting tool. Small business owners are likely to open mail addressed to them personally. 

Tips for using direct mail for prospecting small business owners:

  • Find your target audience.
  • Research your target audience.
  • Write a compelling letter to make the reader want more.
  • End the letter with how your prospect can contact you for more information.
  • Let them know that you will follow up in xx days.

Trade Shows

A great way to meet new prospects face to face is at a trade show. Trades shows give your potential new customers a great deal of information on your company and who they’ll be joining in a business relationship.

Tips for using trades show for small business owners:

  • Find out who’s going to be at the trade show.
  • Create a brochure about your business and what it has to offer.
  • Provide “swag” (promotional products) with the company logo to give away.
  • Provide a sample bag if you have product.
  • Create flyers with discounts if you provide services only.
  • Offer a prize if potential clients leave their business cards.
  • Be friendly, professional, and personal.
  • Keep a box of your cards to hand out to all that stop at your booth.

Door to Door

This form of offline prospecting has been around for ages. Here are some tips to help you with prospecting small business owners using the door-to-door method.

  • Decide who you’re going to visit by researching your potential customers.
  • Have brochures ready to go.
  • Have samples ready to go if you sell a product.
  • Be confident.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Bring swag.
  • Set up a follow-up meeting or phone call.

Radio and Television 

You can use radio and television to reach countless potential customers. Radio and video have been used for decades by businesses trying to reach out to their prospects.

This method can work well due to the repetitiveness and catchy jingles. We probably all have in our heads a jingle or two of the businesses that we remember.

Here are some tips for using radio and television for prospecting.

  • Have your marketing team create a catchy ad for your targeted audience.
  • Find a reputable marketing firm that can get your ads broadcasted.

There you have some easy steps to working with online and offline prospecting tools to reach small business owners.

Now it doesn’t seem so big and scary, does it? Just pick a method that you think will work best for you and your business. 

Online prospecting is the most popular method today, so I highly recommend it.  If you’re not familiar with social media platforms and how to use them, you can look them up on YouTube and teach yourself how to navigate each platform.

You may not get the sale on your first try, but don’t be discouraged. It may take a few attempts.

Now get out there and find those new prospects for small business owners.

Sources:

  1. https://www.peoplekeep.com/blog/10-sales-tips-for-prospecting-small-and-medium-businesses-smbs
  2. https://www.nfib.com/content/resources/marketing/small-business-sales-6-strategies-for-prospecting-56561/
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