If you would have told me a few years ago that WhatsApp was a great prospecting tool, I would have thought you were crazy.
Communicating with a prospect via a text message wasn’t easily done.
This all changed once I spent some time doing business development with a client in Mexico. Nearly everyone we encountered, upon meeting, asked that we use WhatsApp to stay in touch.
In fact, if the person wasn’t at their office that day, reception would often share their WhatsApp number.
Obtaining a WhatsApp number became so easy that we simply began asking at the very beginning of the meeting with a prospect for their WhatsApp number. They happily obliged almost every time.
WhatsApp as a Prospecting Tool
Since this time, I’ve worked with clients around the world to test WhatsApp as a prospecting tool.
What we’ve learned has been astounding.
Why WhatsApp is a Great Prospecting Tool:
- Younger generations (mid-30s and under) are more apt to provide their WhatsApp number.
- Some industries (B2C) are more apt to use WhatsApp in the sales process.
- B2B industries are more apt to use WhatsApp where texting is already an acceptable business practice.
- Those unfamiliar with WhatsApp are willing to adopt it for communication.
In short, WhatsApp is great for prospecting and another tool to add to the tool chest.
Particularly if you are interested in being proactive in your approach to selling.
Introducing WhatsApp to Your Customer
Although not every sector was familiar with WhatsApp, many were willing to try it out once initially introduced to it.
Interestingly there was significantly less resistance to loading and testing an app for communication than providing a phone number for SMS or text messaging.
This seems strange considering they are identical in many ways, yet that has been my experience.
Here is the script we typically used for asking our prospect to use WhatsApp:
“Are you on WhatsApp?”
“What’s your number? I have some quick (videos, photos, testimonials, etc.) I want to send you as a follow-up to our discussion today.”
“If you’re open to trying it, it’s pretty simple to download. We typically communicate with our best customers this way, and I have a few (videos, photos, testimonials, etc.) I’d like to share.”
Using WhatsApp to Warm Up Your Prospect
For those prospects that engage on WhatsApp with you, the sky’s the limit as to how you can use it.
If a prospect wasn’t available, we diverted to using some of the strategies explained here.
The goal, of course, is to build a relationship (and trust), while seeding the path to buying your product or service.
In some instances, it’s as simple as taking the typical steps you’d use to nurture a relationship and using WhatsApp to introduce them.
Below are all of the methods my clients have used to successfully use WhatsApp in their prospecting activities.
Using Video to Warm Up Your Prospect:
Send a personalized welcome video.
Share a picture or personalized video from your boss.
Create and send a picture or personalized video from the company president.
Share a walk-around video of your office.
Send a brief demonstrator video of your product.
Create and share video of your product or service being used by a customer.
Share a customer testimonial video (or two, or three).
Using Voice Messages to Build Trust with Your Prospect:
Create a personalized voice message following your initial discussion (i.e., thank them for their time).
Send a personalized voice message after a referral (i.e., nice to connect, would you have time for…)
Record a personal message after a call or online meeting to mention something you forgot.
Using Pictures to Differentiate Your Brand and Company:
Post a picture of your entire customer service team.
Send a picture of your company’s office.
Share a picture of you with the company president.
Create and share a picture of a happy customer.
Using WhatsApp to Convert Prospects
If you’re creative, it’s easy to see how WhatsApp can help you personalize and warm up a prospect.
I’ve found this is particularly effective in industries where the norm has been to communicate by telephone and email.
WhatsApp’ing your prospect is like having a direct channel to their attention, helping you build rapport while staying clear of the mess of emails and voice messages.
But can you convert?
Absolutely! It’s a great tool to move beyond initial discussions and shift towards the sale.
We used WhatsApp in various scenarios leading up to and after the close.
Some Examples of How to Use WhatsApp to Convert Customers:
- Share pictures or even a video overview of your proposal (either before as a preparatory step, or after to address questions or objections).
- Send personalized messages as reminders for upcoming calls or for requesting email responses.
- Post pictures or videos of your product or service being used as a way to “paint your prospects’ future.”
- Message with impromptu ideas meant to keep your proposal top of mind.
- Share a video from your company president about how important they are as a new customer.
Of course, as you begin to attempt to convert customers, you will encounter objections.
We have even been successful in using WhatsApp to overcome objections.
How to Overcome Objections Using WhatsApp:
- Provide personalized messages to address questions or objections.
- Share clips from customer testimonial videos to address objections (particularly effective when price is a factor).
- Provide a video from your boss or the president to address objections or concerns.
The list goes on…
Introducing WhatsApp to Your Prospecting Activities
As I mentioned earlier, WhatsApp is a great tool to add to your prospecting toolkit.
If you are in an old-school industry, introducing WhatsApp might take time.
But you’ll find it’s easier to get someone to engage on WhatsApp than SMS in most cases.
On the flip side, if you are already using SMS as part of your prospecting activities, shifting to recommending WhatsApp may in fact provide you with an entirely new channel to use with your prospect.
One that your competitors aren’t using.
© Shawn Casemore 2021. All Rights Reserved.