Episode #235 – Alice Heiman
Curiosity About Your Prospects is What Closes Sales
According to Forbes.com, Alice Heiman is among the world’s leading experts on the complex sale. Founder of Alice Heiman, LLC she strategizes with CEOs and sales leadership to grow sales organizations and increase sales profitably. From prospecting to closing, she leads teams to find new business and grow existing accounts.
Alice Heiman believes that curiosity is the #1 prospecting and lead generation skills that salespeople need to develop. Curiosity leads to research, which leads to understanding your prospect on a deeper level, which allows you to craft the right message. Alice shares all about her prospecting process in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
According to Forbes.com, Alice Heiman is among the world’s leading experts on the complex sale. Founder of Alice Heiman, LLC she strategizes with CEOs and sales leadership to grow sales organizations and increase sales profitably. From prospecting to closing, she leads teams to find new business and grow existing accounts.How does curiosity about your prospects lead to more sales? @aliceheiman shares her perspective in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Prospecting #Prospect #LeadGeneration #LeadGen #Leads #Curiosity Click To Tweet
Outline of This Episode
- [1:00] Lead generation is global + prospecting is sales
- [1:25] Why are lead generation and prospecting important?
- [2:46] Why referrals are the way to go with marketing
- [6:27] Curiosity is the #1 skill to develop
- [9:50] Alice’s top 3 dos and don’ts
- [12:41] Involve your team every step of the way
Alice’s #1 source of leads: referrals
Alice depends on referrals for lead generation. She prefers that. Why? It’s so much easier. Wouldn’t you rather get an introduction than cold-call hundreds of people? Her process begins with making a list of customers and how frequently she talks with them (about what’s going well, what value they are adding, etc.). When you know they are happy and loyal, then you ask them to make an introduction.
Then she has a list of companies and people that can make introductions, even if they don’t buy from you. She keeps a wishlist of companies she’d love to work with and figures out who to talk to in each of those companies. She will then refer back to her first two lists and question—can anyone make an introduction? Do any of my customers know them? Can any referral sources make an introduction? She always starts with introductions to ideal customers before cold outreach.
If you have to do cold outreach, she recommends doing it in an organized fashion. Alice likes the 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 method. What is it? You take 5 companies that you are interested in. Then you find 5 people that would be involved in decision-making and figure out the best way to reach them. You have to craft the right messaging. You work for 5 weeks to get their attention and land an appointment. Once you have done that, put them in the recycling pile and move on to another company. This is only after exhausting every effort to try and reach them.
Curiosity is the #1 skill to develop
Alice believes a key skill to develop is the ability to be a better researcher. You need to learn how to be a great researcher and look for the right words, ideas, and trigger events to reach out to a prospect. If you go out with a message that doesn’t generate interest, you won’t get a conversation.
You also need to understand what the day in the life of your prospect(s) looks like. If you don’t understand that, you may bring the wrong information at the wrong time. If you sell to CMOs, what is it like in their every day? What are their financial concerns? People concerns? Business concerns? What are they trying to accomplish each day? What’s going on at their company that’s impacting them? What initiatives are they working on? Is their company laying people off? Are they hiring? Alice emphasizes that you have to understand what is going on in their life.
She recently heard of a CMO that had their entire marketing team furloughed. You should know things like that before you get on the phone with them. That CMO may be distraught. You can talk to your own customers and ask them those questions. You can talk to your own CMO and find out what their days look like. It’s a great way to start understanding the people you will be talking with.What is @aliceheiman #1 source of leads? Referrals. Why are they so impactful? Find out in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Prospecting #Prospect #LeadGeneration #LeadGen #Leads #Curiosity Click To Tweet
Involve your team every step of the way
Alice was working on a complex deal selling software to a large company—and the deal stalled. It was complete radio silence for months. So her team got together to brainstorm a strategy to get things moving. They had the CEO of the company in the room. After months of trying to make something happen, he goes “Oh, I know that person.” He could pick up the phone and call that person right then and there. So he did. And the deal started moving again.
How can you prevent that from happening? You have to tell your team what deals you’re working on and the people you’re trying to get an introduction to. If you go on LinkedIn, you can see if someone on your team knows these people. Your own company can be a great source of introductions. Listen to the whole episode for more of Alice’s prospecting and lead generation tips and strategies!Why should you team be involved in the #Prospecting and #LeadGeneration process? @aliceheiman drives the point home in this episode of @SalesReinvented. Don’t miss it! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Prospect #LeadGen #Leads #CuriosityClick To Tweet
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More About Alice Heiman
What was the last book you read?
Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon, Sales Differentiation by Lee Salz, Gap Selling by Keenan (in the last 3 months)
Who / What inspires you?
Nature inspires me. My clients inspire me. Gardening inspires me.
Are there any aspects of your prospecting and lead generation skills that you are working on improving at the moment?
Referrals are the main source of qualified leads, followed by people who follow me on LinkedIn and read my newsletter.
Skiing, sailing, reading, gardening, science, improving sales
How can our listeners contact with you?
LinkedIn, Alice(at)AliceHeiman.com, or 775.852.5020