“Don’t poison the watering hole.” There’s a bit of old-time cowboy wisdom to start your day moving in the right direction. Say what you want about cowboys, but they understood how to do prospecting the right way.

Poisoning the watering hole means overworking your prospecting source. When everyone on your sales team is running the same LinkedIn searches for prospects, there’s trouble on the horizon. You could pay for prospects, but there’s no guarantee that expensive leads are quality leads. Instead, you could find and qualify prospects in minutes for $0 if you only knew where to look.

Don’t sweat it, cowboy. No matter what other Social Selling problems you encounter, finding high quality leads online shouldn’t be one of them. The World Wide Web is a rich gold mine, with somewhere around 3.2 billion active leads. Here are free tools to help you find, qualify and contact them quickly. The rest of your team probably doesn’t know about these tools yet, so feel free to share as you see fit.

Secret Tools for Better Prospecting

Secret Tools for Better Prospecting

1. HubSpot Sales – After competitors, another prospecting source that sales professionals tend to overlook is past prospects that didn’t work out. Things change, and they could be ready to make a purchase now. Find out if they are worth pursuing with this tool from HubSpot that alerts you when someone interacts with your content (email, website, blog posts, etc.), tracks every interaction and organizes all your activities in one place. 

2. Datanyze – Some of the best sources for prospects are your competitors. You know these prospects need what you offer, and some percentage of them will be unsatisfied. This app lets you find out who has started or stopped using your competitors. It also has a free browser extension to help you find email contacts that you can qualify using other tools on this list



3. TimeTrade – Do you hate wasting 10 emails or texts just to schedule a meeting? Scheduling can be a momentum killer. Simplify everyone’s life by trying out this app that allows prospects to schedule themselves on your calendar. The free account gives you five appointments per month, and the paid version allows unlimited appointments. It integrates with Outlook or Google Calendar, and you can include a link within your emails as a call-to-action.

Timetrade Prospecting

4. Rapportive – What do you know about the person you’re about to email? Tailored emails build relationships while generic ones build spam folders. LinkedIn’s Rapportive is a free Gmail plugin that searches the social web for information about your prospect to qualify them and give you some critical insights into how to get their attention.

LinkedIn Rapportive

5. Boomerang – Timing is…everything. A good email at the wrong time gets ignored. Just like those tools for scheduling your social posts, this free Gmail plugin lets you write all your emails at once and schedule them to go out at the most effective times. It will also remind you when it’s time to follow up and move your prospects along the buyer’s journey.


6. Prospect.io – Gathering information about your prospect prior to first contact is important to make it more meaningful but what if you don’t have their legitimate email address in the first place? This app combines prospecting with cold email sending engine, so you can find anyone’s email via their website or LinkedIn profile, instantly add them to a sequence and use the time saved to focus on having more live conversations with your leads.


Before The Gold Rush

Stake your claim with these prospecting tools before the gold rush hits. The good news is that there’s plenty more where these came from, so social sellers never have to worry about running out of good prospects. Set aside some time every day to go for the gold with these tools, – even the best prospects need a little nurturing.

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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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