How Can You Connect with Hard to Reach Prospects?

Senior, key decision makers who don’t yet know who you are…

…How can you get to them?

It’s not a new question.

Tools like LinkedIn have made it easier to get past the roadblocks, but there are still limitations.

Christopher Penn wrote a thoughtful piece a few years back that is still true today, and has implications for anybody that is actively prospecting and marketing online.  It’s a quick read, click here for it.

The part that matters most in the here and now is this:

“There’s no way for you to enter these private settings and do any serious marketing, because they’re hidden from you. So how do you get in? How do you develop and grow your access to private networks?”

Before you can talk to your prospects, you have to find your prospects. And to find your prospects, you need to understand exactly WHO they are.

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WHO are My Prospects?

The most important question you can ask yourself is this.

WHO are my best prospects, and HOW can I reach them?

Related Post: How to Identify and Target Your Ideal Prospect(s)

If you don’t know the answer to this question, you have some serious work to do. It doesn’t have to be hard, just work through the common characteristics like industry, title, company size, etc. The more detailed you get, the more targeted your marketing will be.

WHERE are My Prospect’s ‘Private Networks’?

SIGN ME UP!The “private settings” Christopher Penn was talking about are the online places where your prospects can technically be reached…but that you may not have access to.  Wherever your prospects are, this is a question you must know the answer to.

If you think the answer is a few bullet points of LinkedIn tactics, think harder.

This isn’t a tactical question.

Reaching the most important people, the people that can really move the needle for your business….that usually takes more than just tactics.

It requires creativity, strategy, a deep understanding of your prospect’s market and needs, and long-term vision.

WHAT Do My Prospects Need?

Gaining a deep understanding of your prospect’s needs and vision is the next piece of the puzzle. If you know WHO they are and WHERE they are, you can likely come up with some good ideas of what they might really care about.

But in business, there is no room for ‘likely’ or ‘might’. To be successful, you must know exactly what problem your prospects are having and what you can do to solve it for them.

No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

So how do you find out what your prospect is looking for?

  1. Ask current clients
  2. Post questions in online forums, like LinkedIn groups

Related Post: How to Create a Positive & Lasting Impression in Your LinkedIn Groups

  1. Google keywords and see what sort of topics pop up
  2. Read industry reports

What’s Next?

After getting to know your prospects really well, you’re ready to start building a relationship with them! Providing a creative or cost effective way to solve a pain point for someone is a great way to start opening doors. You will be welcomed into those ‘private networks’ with open arms!

So, my question to you…..What’s your plan for elevating your message above the noise and gaining access to your most important prospects?

What “private settings” have you discovered, that contain your ideal prospect? Is it a social site or a networking group? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

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