Cold outreach, by nature, tends to be awkward and exhausting. Almost no one wants to hear from some business they've never heard of, and hardly anyone wants to try to convince a frustrated prospect to stay on the line.
But sometimes, a prospect is willing to take some of the strain off that process by explicitly demonstrating interest in a company before its sales team reaches out. One kind of prospect that fits that bill is known as a hand-raiser — and it pays to know how to handle them properly.
Here, we'll take a closer look at what hand-raisers are, review the most effective ways to attract them, and get a feel for how to sell to them effectively.
What is a hand-raiser?
A hand-raiser is a prospect who indicates interest in a company by offering their contact information — typically in exchange for some sort of collateral like a virtual content offer or a free consultation.
Identifying hand-raisers is a relatively easy process, as they technically identify themselves. A prospect can't be considered a hand-raiser unless they volunteer their contact information — so once you land a potential customer's email, phone number, or address, you'll know you're dealing with one.
Your ability to attract hand-raisers rests on the value you can offer them. Generally speaking, they need to be wooed — meaning they need to get something in exchange for their information.
If you have a vague contact information form on the front page of your website that's not attached to anything interesting or valuable, you'll have a hard time finding hand-raisers that want to get involved with you.
So all that begs the question, "How do I get hand-raisers to find and express interest in my company?" Well, there are a lot of roads you can take. Here are some of the most effective ways to get there.
How does a hand-raiser find your product?
1. Through Your Content
Content creation is one of the better ways to attract hand-raisers to your product. By publishing high-quality, practical content through mediums like a company blog or YouTube channel can reel in customers interested in your space. Once you have them engaged, you can entice them with content offers or other collateral they can access in exchange for their contact information.
2. Through Paid Advertising
This method is pretty self-explanatory. If you advertise online — via paid social, paid search, or more traditional means — you can draw potential hand-raisers to your website. Once you're there, you can offer avenues to get visitors' contact information. That could be through something as complex as a webinar offer or as simple as a "Learn More" form.
3. Through Their Own Research
Sometimes hand-raisers find their way to you, all on their own. They might be looking for a solution like yours and are checking out various players in your industry along the way. In doing so, they could stumble upon your site and be intrigued by what you have to offer — leading them to provide you with their contact information for a little more perspective.
How to Sell to Hand-Raisers
Hand-raisers are "warm prospects" — ones that fall in a general category between cold prospects and qualified leads. They've demonstrated some degree of interest, but they haven't been thoroughly researched or evaluated enough to count as being legitimately qualified.
Even though their interest isn't backed by hard, observable, data-driven urgency, hand-raisers are still worth pursuing. Reaching out to one is definitely easier and likely more effective than your run-of-the-mill cold call, but that doesn't mean it's a walk in the park.
The key with selling to hand-raisers is being present and persistent — but stopping short of being obnoxious and aggressive. You shouldn't try to schedule a demo immediately after receiving their information or pester them every day about setting up a discovery call.
You want to temper your approach. Try passing along other relevant content offers to help foster their interest in your company. Ultimately, selling to hand-raisers rests primarily on your ability to turn them into qualified leads. Try to tease out where they're coming from and relay that information to marketing to help them gauge whether they're worth the sales team's time.
They indicated that they wanted to learn about you — you need to take that as an opportunity to learn about them.
When gathered effectively and handled correctly, hand-raisers can be a massive asset to your sales efforts. In a lot of ways, sales is the art of cultivating and capitalizing on a prospect's interest, so hand-raisers can give you a significant head start when it comes to that process.