7 Habits of Highly Successful Prospectors, According to Sales Leaders

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Jay Fuchs
Jay Fuchs


Thoughtfully calculated, well-executed prospecting is central to virtually every successful sales engagement. It sets a tone — giving you the momentum and perspective you need to lock in on viable sales opportunities and ensure the rest of your sales process goes as smoothly as possible.

highly successful prospectors prospecting highly successfully

But as with any other skill, some salespeople have a better grip on prospecting than others — and we, here at the HubSpot Sales Blog, want to do our part to make sure you prospect as effectively as possible.

That‘s why we connected with some sales leaders for their takes on habits the most successful prospectors exhibit. Let’s take a look at what they had to say.

Download Now: Free Sales Prospecting Guide + Templates

7 Habits of Highly Successful Prospectors

1. They balance realism with aspirational goals.

According to Denise Fowler, Founder of Career Happiness Coaching, "Highly successful prospectors continually ensure that both their feet are grounded and their eyes are scanning the skies. They have tools that check themselves if they become overly stuck on the ground or unmoored in unrealistic expectations.

"They create prospect lists that allow them to focus on where realistic revenue can sustain them in the short- and medium-term business investing. At the same time, they allocate about 25% of their prospecting to focus on long-term aspirational goals.

"They understand that steady revenue must come into their business before they can increase the time spent on dream clients and business outcomes. These clients are also open to new, often ‘stretch’ conversations with people they don't know and create opportunities for random interactions.

“While some people can do this without clear systems, I have found that my most successful career clients who build sustainable businesses use practical tools like simple spreadsheets to manage and track their prospecting to ensure they maintain the right balance between grounded feet and upward-facing eyes.”

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    2. They utilize sales triggers for timely outreach.

    Matthew Murray, Managing Director of Sales Higher, says, "The best prospectors only reach out to opportunities that activate sales triggers. For example, they've adopted new technology or announced expansion plans.

    “Using sales triggers ensures your prospects are qualified, and your outreach is well-timed. Furthermore, they give context to the conversation and create opportunities to provide value.”

    3. They combine determination with market Insight.

    According to Alexander Havkin, Regional Sales and Project Manager at Ecoline Windows, "Effective prospecting combines determination, smart planning, and comprehensive market understanding. I've noticed a few habits that set our team apart, such as utilizing advanced CRM tools.

    "Our team enhances personalization and efficiency in managing leads and client interactions, tailoring our approach to meet individual needs. Facing rejection head-on, our prospectors view each setback as a learning opportunity, staying committed to refining their approach and achieving their objectives.

    “With the industry's constant evolution, our team prioritizes staying informed about new product developments and market changes, ensuring we can provide the most relevant solutions.”

    4. They prioritize relationships over immediate sales.

    Matt Erhard, Managing Partner at Summit Search Group, says, "I worked in sales prior to starting my career as a recruiter, and since making that switch, sales has been one of my primary areas of focus when I'm sourcing and hiring talent for our clients. Based on that experience, here are my top three habits of successful prospectors:

    "When a salesperson goes into a prospecting conversation already thinking about making the sale, they‘re focused on their own needs and goals rather than the potential client’s. They are also more likely to come across as ‘salesy,’ which can be off-putting to many.

    "When you focus on the relationship instead, you gain valuable information about the individual's preferences, pain points, values, and goals. This increases the likelihood of not just making that first sale — but also turning the individual into a long-term customer who is loyal to your product or service because they trust that you are genuinely interested in what they need.

    "If you talk to most successful salespeople, they‘ll tell you that they don’t make the majority of their sales during the first conversation. While the exact figures vary depending on the industry and individual, sales professionals with a high close rate can usually attribute much of that to post-follow-up sales. Excellent prospectors reply to every communication they receive, and this is part of how they build that relationship and trust I mentioned above.

    “It's much easier to find leads if you're well-connected and active in your industry. The most successful professionals in this field are constantly attending events like conferences or trade fairs, are members of professional communities, engage with those groups, and use their online presence wisely to form and strengthen professional relationships.”

    5. They harness technology for prospecting efficiency.

    Baidhurya Mani, Founder of SellCoursesOnline, says, "Successful prospectors know how to leverage technology to their advantage. They constantly explore the latest tech and tools to stay on top of industry trends and advancements.

    “Whether it's LinkedIn, Google Alerts, CRM, marketing automation systems, analytics, or other tools to assist you in your prospecting, knowing how to integrate technology into your routine is a great advantage. Prospectors who don't know how to use the tools and tech at their disposal are already a step behind everybody else who does.”

    6. They communicate with empathy.

    Stephen Greet, Co-Founder of BeamJobs, says, "I've observed firsthand the transformative impact of certain habits on successful prospecting. Key among these is the integration of empathy and value-driven communication.

    “Highly successful prospectors don't just understand their product — they deeply understand their prospect's challenges and goals. This empathy enables them to tailor communications that resonate personally, turning cold prospects into engaged conversations.”

    7. They “gamify” their tedious tasks and understand the “mathematics of sales.”

    Rob Scott, Managing Director at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, says, "The most successful prospectors ‘gamify’ their tedious tasks, like cold calling, by setting small goals for themselves, such as making five calls before their next coffee break.

    "They understand that no matter how well they are doing, the time dedicated daily to prospecting is essential to the sales cycle and will help them reduce the peaks and troughs throughout the year.

    “These top performers also understand the significance of the 'mathematics of sales'; they know their ratios, which helps them forecast accurately and determine when to increase their prospecting efforts.”

    And there you have it — seven traits and tactics you should incorporate into your prospecting repertoire. Obviously, this list is far from exhaustive, but if you give these methods a shot, you'll put yourself in the best position to consistently prospect productively.

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