9 Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques You Should Use

9 Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques You Should Use

Before you can sell to your dream customers, you have to find them… and that’s what sales prospecting is all about.

In this guide, we’ll explain the problem with traditional sales prospecting techniques, and then we’ll give you 9 proven-to-work tactics that ClickFunnels members use to consistently find and convert their dream customers.

Let’s start with a quick definition.

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What is Sales Prospecting?

Sales prospecting is the process of finding potential customers for your business. This has traditionally involved marketing practices like sending direct mail, handing out business cards, cold calling, display advertising, and even door knocking.

Sales prospecting can refer to the efforts of both big, small, B2B, or B2C businesses trying to find potential customers for high-ticket or low-ticket products or services.

However, sales prospecting techniques usually differ based on the size and industry of the business — some businesses might just run Facebook Ads while others rely on high-ticket display advertising and cold calling.

Fortunately, sales prospecting doesn’t need to be that complicated.

At ClickFunnels, we’ve found 9 sales prospecting techniques that work for virtually every type of business — barbers, real estate investors, SaaS, high-ticket sellers, etc.

But before we dive in, here’s a problem…

The Problem With Traditional Sales Prospecting Techniques

If you search in Google for “sales prospecting techniques” — perhaps that’s how you found this article — you’ll find a lot of articles that offer similar advice

  • Network
  • Ask for referrals
  • Set goals
  • Social sell
  • Cold call
  • Attend events

Problem is, none of those strategies are scalable… you might be able to find prospects using those techniques, but you’re not going to find more prospects unless you hire more salespeople.

So maybe you run advertisements to your website hoping to generate leads and find prospects.

Well, there’s still a problem…

Websites are notoriously bad at getting people to take action (check out the video below).

So you’ll probably end up spending a lot of money on advertisements for very little results — not because you’re a bad salesperson, but because websites don’t work.

There’s got to be a better way, right?

Some way that you can find your dream customers without spending hours on the phone and without wasting thousands of dollars on advertisements that drive too few results.

That’s what we’re going to show you.

Here are the 9 sales prospecting techniques for finding (and converting) your dream customers.

1. Identify Your Dream Customer

You can’t find high-quality prospects if you don’t know who they are.

So the first step is to identify your dream customers. Can you answer the following questions?

  • How old is your dream customer? 
  • What do they do for a living? 
  • What do they dream of? 
  • What are their main fears? 
  • What is their biggest barrier to working with you? 
  • Do they live somewhere specific? 
  • How much money do they make? 
  • Are they moving away from pain or toward pleasure?

Maybe that seems like a lot of very specific information… but the more details you have about who your dream customer is, the easier it’ll be to identify them and convert them.

Set aside time to create a customer avatar that represents your dream customer — you can even give them a name and find a picture of how you imagine they look. Then give that information to the marketers and salespeople in your company.

Clickfunnels customer avatar graphic.

If you want to learn the exact process we went through at ClickFunnels to identify our dream customers, then get a free copy of Traffic Secrets. In it, Russell Brunson writes,

When you have a perfect vision of who your dream customer is, it becomes easy to find where they are congregating. On the contrary, if you don’t have perfect clarity on who that person is, it’s really hard to find them.”

2. Understand Your Value Ladder

Like most businesses, you probably offer multiple products or services options — not just one.

This means that within your dream customer avatar, there are layers. Some people will be interested primarily in your low-ticket offers and will need some time before they commit to your high-ticket offers.

Other people will jump right to the highest-ticket offer you have.

Both of those types of people are your dream customers… they’re just at different parts of the journey.

This is why you (and your marketers and salespeople) need to have a clear understanding of what we call your Value Ladder.

Here’s what it looks like…

Clickfunnels, value ladder graphic.

The Y axis is value and the X axis is price. Each step on the “ladder” represents a more valuable and more expensive product or service you offer, going from least expensive and least valuable to most expensive and most valuable.

Meanwhile, on the bottom, is your continuity program (a monthly or annual subscription) that creates recurring revenue for your business.

Let’s look at an example.

Here’s a value ladder we used at ClickFunnels for our DotCom Secrets launch…

Clickfunnels, The Dotcom Secrets Value Ladder chart.

And here’s a value ladder that could be used by a dentist’s office

Clickfunnels, Value Ladder for a Dentist chart.

The idea is that you pull dream customers into your circle of influence with a free (or very inexpensive) offer. Once you’ve got their attention and you’ve built a bit of trust, you can offer this person the next product or service on your value ladder… up and up until they finally purchase your most valuable product or service.

Try it out.

Map out your own value ladder.

Doing so will allow you to know where each prospect or customer is at in their journey. It’ll also give you a great starting place (your frontend offer) for each prospect and a clear idea of where you’re trying to take them.

If you want to learn more, Russell Brunson explains the Value Ladder in detail in his bestselling book, DotCom Secrets (get your copy for free at that link).

3. Find (and Infiltrate) Your Dream 100

At this point you should know who your dream customer is and what products or services you’re trying to sell them — and in what order.

Now you’ve got to find your dream customers.

The easiest way to do this is by following a system we call The Dream 100. The goal of The Dream 100 is to find places online where your dream customers are already hanging out so that you can market to them.

Clickfunnels, Dream 100 diagram.

Create a spreadsheet and identify…

  • 10 top websites and forums where they spend time. 
  • 15 active Facebook groups they participate in. 
  • 50 influencers they follow on Facebook and Instagram. 
  • 30 podcasts they listen to. 
  • 40 email newsletters they subscribe to.
  • 20 blogs that they actively read. 
  • 20 YouTube channels they subscribe to.

This will take some time, but once you have that information, getting in front of your dream customers is as easy as sending a few emails.

You can either…

Work your way in — This means you’ll be commenting on influencers posts, messaging writers at publications, and sharing expert advice on forums. You’re working for the attention rather than paying for it. That means you have to build authentic relationships with key people… and only ask for something when the time is right. Get a free copy of Traffic Secrets to learn Russell Brunson’s 60-day system for building relationships with important people.

Buy your way in — This means you’ll pay to get attention in these communities. You can pay for social media ads, display ads on blogs or websites, sponsorships on podcasts, newsletters, or YouTube channels. This is as easy as reaching out and asking for sponsorship rates.

4. Stop Cold Calling

You know how much you hate cold calling?

It’s uncomfortable, awkward, and rarely results in a sale…

Well, the person you’re calling probably hates it just as much.

And in our opinion, cold calling might be one of the worst possible ways to find prospects for your business.

It’s invasive, untargeted, and uncomfortable.

What’s the solution?

Start with a sales funnel and then hop on the phone with prospects… check out the details in the next tip.

5. Start With a Sales Funnel

Okay — you’ve identified your dream customers and infiltrated your dream 100.

But where are you going to send all of that traffic?

Earlier, we mentioned that websites don’t work well for converting traffic into leads or paying customers, so we know you shouldn’t send that traffic to the frontpage of your website.

Where then?

To a sales funnel.

Whereas a website is nothing more than a digital brochure that allows visitors to navigate wherever they like, a sales funnel is a series of pages that guide prospects toward taking a very specific action — opting in to your email list, scheduling a call, downloading a resource, signing up for an online event, purchasing a product, etc. Sales funnels don’t have a navigation bar at the top of the first page and they definitely don’t encourage browsing.

Because of that single-minded focus, they convert much better than websites.

In fact, at ClickFunnels, we’ve created 20+ tested-and-refined sales funnel templates that members can use to generate leads, sell products, and host online events.

So which kind of sales funnel should you use when you’re trying to attract your dream customers for the first time?


  • The Reverse Squeeze Page Funnel — This funnel offers a free resource to people in return for their email address. You could offer a downloadable PDF, an eBook, or a mini course that helps your dream customers solve their most immediate problem.
  • The Tripwire Funnel — Use this to turn visitors into leads and sell one of your frontend offers to cold traffic. It works like a charm.

The Webinar Funnel — Webinar funnels have made us more money than any other type of sales funnel at ClickFunnels. Choose a topic that will appeal to your dream customers and then start getting registrants (and leads) with this sales funnel.

6. Use Follow-Up Funnels

No matter how good your sales funnel is, you’ll never be able to convert every convert-able visitor on the first go-around.

Some people need more time to decide, or they need to know if they can trust you, or they need to wait until they get their next paycheck.

In each case, follow-up is critical.

And with ClickFunnels, you can create what we call Follow-Up Funnels.

These are email-based sequences that trigger when people take a specific action — join your email list for the first time, abandon their cart, sign up for but don’t attend your webinar, etc.

A Follow-Up Funnel can consist of just one email or 5-7 emails — it just depends on what you’re trying to do.

Here’s an example of the email you receive if you purchase Experts Secrets but not the upsell…

Clickfunnels, email follow-up example

Other Follow-Up Funnels might be longer, like this 4-part series I received from Russell…

Part 1…

Clickfunnels, part 1, Clickfunnels, email follow-up example

Part 2…

Clickfunnels, part 2, Clickfunnels, email follow-up example

Part 3…

Clickfunnels, part 3, Clickfunnels, email follow-up example

And part 4…

Clickfunnels, part 4, Clickfunnels, email follow-up example

Follow-up funnels increase conversions by capturing the people who just need a little bit more time…

So try it out.

Click below to claim 14 days of ClickFunnels for free and start creating follow-up funnels right away.

Get Your FREE ClickFunnels Account Now!

7. Build an Affiliate Army

Most of the online articles out there that offer advice for sales prospecting recommend asking customers for referrals.

And that’s a great idea.

If you have a customer who’s absolutely in love with your products and services, then it doesn’t hurt to ask for a referral (especially if you’re a coach, consultant, or freelancer).

But here’s our twist on that traditional advice: build an affiliate army.

Imagine that there were a ton of influencers and experts in your niche who were selling your products and services for you?

Wouldn’t that be great?

That’s exactly what an affiliate army is — an “army” of affiliate marketers who are selling your products or services to their audiences for a commission.

We do this at ClickFunnels, for example, offering up to 40% recurring commission to our affiliates.


Because it works!

A quick YouTube search for “ClickFunnels review” shows just how effective it has been — many of those results are affiliates helping us sell our software

YouTube, Clickfunnels review search results webpage.

You can do the same thing with your business.

Find potential affiliates, introduce them to your brand, negotiate commissions, and give them a unique affiliate link so they can make money from selling your products or services.

You can manage the technical side of your affiliate army inside your ClickFunnels account.

8. Use a CRM

This tip is simple… but important.

Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software).

A CRM will allow you to create workflows, communicate with your customers, collaborate with team members, and build automations that remove a lot of tedious work.

Check out our CRM guide over here to learn more.

9. Ask More Questions

Some types of businesses — consulting, contracting, high-ticket B2B sales — will require that you get on the phone with people to determine if they’re a fit for your products or services.

This, of course, will require sales savvy.

And the best tip we can give you and your salespeople is to talk less… and ask more questions.

When top sales performers were compared to their less successful counterparts, this was a key difference…

When I'm in front of a prospect, I: chart.


What questions should you ask?

Here are some ideas…

  • What problem are you facing right now that you want help with? 
  • How much are you willing to spend to solve that problem? 
  • How much do you already know about our products or services? 
  • What are you hoping to get out of this call?
  • If I could snap my fingers and make one problem go away, what would it be?

Obviously, you’ll need to adjust these questions to your own business… but you get the idea.

Talk less. Ask more questions. Make more sales.

Final Thoughts

To build a business, you have to know your target market. You have to know your niche. More importantly, you need to have a crystal clear understanding of who you serve.

Then, of course, you need to find those people. You need to tell them your message and share your solution.

Most traditional sales prospecting techniques are outdated, inefficient, and difficult to scale.

But the above 9 tactics will help you find (and convert) your dream customers.

If it worked for us — and the thousands of other ClickFunnels members — it’ll work for you, too!

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