Running a small business can seem like a constant juggling act. One moment you’re meeting with a client, then you switch gears to marketing, then managing finances—and that’s just the predictable part of your day.
But while you may be involved in every facet of your business, you don’t need to be an expert at everything. Knowing the basics of three critical skills—prospecting, recruiting, and marketing—will set you up for success. Here are three ways to master the most important skills for small business owners:
1. Boost Selling Success with Strategic Sales Prospecting
Jeb Blount, CEO of Sales Gravy, doesn’t mince words in his quote about sales prospecting: “The brutal fact is the number one reason for failure in sales is an empty pipe, and, the root cause of an empty pipeline is the failure to prospect.” Without a strategy that calls for consistent prospecting behaviors, sales will eventually falter. There’s no way around it. But what type of prospecting works best?
Abandon Cold Calling and Perform Warm Outreach
Ninety percent of B2B decision makers ignore cold outreach. If you rely on cold outreach to bring in new customers, consider rethinking your strategy and using warm outreach instead.
Turn cold outreach warm by finding commonalities with your prospects. LinkedIn is a useful tool to perform this research as LinkedIn members provide their job titles, organization, skills, education, and other professional attributes. Mutual contacts, similar backgrounds, or shared interests are good examples of common experiences to reference in your outreach. When a sales prospect can identify with you, they are simply more likely to engage, as evidenced in the next section.
Find New Prospects Through Your Network
Prospect are five times more likely to engage with you when you’re introduced via a mutual connection. Fortunately, your LinkedIn network is filled with contacts to leverage for an introduction.
With LinkedIn’s search feature, look for potential prospects you have a connection with by filtering your search for second degree connections.