Few salespeople look forward to prospecting, but it’s an important part of sales. Prospecting can help create a full pipeline of potential buyers and help boost your overall revenue. To get the best results, though, you need the right approach. Julie Thomas, president and CEO of ValueSelling Associates, likes to use the A-I-M approach, which stands for anxiety, influence and motivation.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight Thomas’ thoughts on why this approach is so helpful in sales prospecting — and how it can help you increase engagement with prospects.

Remember A-I-M (Anxiety, Influence and Motivation)

Thomas says that creating anxiety can trigger the brain’s curiosity mechanism, which tries to find a solution or understanding. When your prospects feel anxious, they may feel worried or uneasy about something with an unclear outcome. She says influence is the process of producing effects on the actions, behavior or opinion of others. When you can pique someone’s interest, you can often continue moving the conversation forward. Motivation also comes into play with the A-I-M approach. Your solution should be compelling enough that potential buyers want to take action.

So, how do you take the A-I-M approach? Thomas says this structure is helpful whether you are calling a prospect or sending an email. For example, in your first sentence, you could mention the prospect’s job title and mention how you help solve problems that the prospect likely faces. This can trigger curiosity.

In the second sentence, Thomas recommends sharing successes or value metrics from similar situations. This is where influence comes into play. You essentially are showing the potential buyer how you have helped someone just like them.

And in the third sentence, strive to motivate the prospect to want to take the next step with you. Ask for a conversation with the prospect to talk about how your solution can solve their problems, Thomas says.

Create Your A-I-M Cadence

A prospecting cadence is a sequence of strategically choreographed sales activities that a rep follows to connect with prospects, and it typically includes social media interactions, email exchanges and phone calls, Thomas says. Think of a cadence like a systematic framework that can help you fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads.

You might begin you’re A-I-M cadence by liking a post your prospect shared on social media and then inviting them to connect with you. The next step might be emailing the prospective buyer with a valuable piece of content or an invitation to a webinar. As you progress the conversation, you can begin offering insights and case studies, Thomas says. And after that, you’ll be at a good point to explain why the prospect should buy from you and why now.

The A-I-M approach may not make prospecting more enjoyable, but it can help improve your response rates. Before you pick up the phone or draft your next prospecting email, think about how you can pique interest with anxiety, influence and motivation.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Julie Thomas is president and CEO of ValueSelling Associates. She is also a speaker, author and consultant.