Even though prospecting is listed in the job description, there are many sales people who struggle or plain old dislike prospecting. (They won’t tell you that in the interview!)
That answer runs the gamut from:
- difficulty gaining an appointment
- false expectations to close the deal on the first call
- overall poor close ratios
- lack of knowledge of how to prospect effectively
Since sales performance is rewarded and measured by what is sold, prospecting for new business is generally a key activity to sales success.
Whether it’s lack of skill or becomes lack of motivation, take the time to visit with your sales team and review top prospecting activity tips.
Selling Techniques: Top prospecting activity tips
1. Schedule Prospecting Time
‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’ Alan Lakein (author of How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life)
Dedicate time and put it on your calendar each week.
Whether it’s 2 hours or 2 days, be sure it’s ‘in sight – in mind’ or you will find plenty of other tasks to complete, and most of them will not be revenue producing.
Get specific with your schedule. Block out the appropriate amount of time to dedicate to researching and identifying your prospects.
If done properly, this will save time and effort in the long run.
2. Use Multiple Prospecting Methods
Evaluate the methods have you been using and take a closer look at which ones are working best.
Get rid of the activities that haven’t proved effective.
Collaborate with colleagues to gain insight into what methods are working best for them, and then add those to your plan.
Remember to use a variety of methods such as :
- Trade shows
- Asking for referrals
- Telephone cold calling
3. Qualify and Follow-up.
A phrase I use often is, “You don’t need new friends, but you do need new customers.”
One seller always came back from a new prospect meeting saying, “They really liked me.” And she continued to stay in touch with them and had a big pipeline – albeit inflated and unrealistic.
More often than not, they were not a qualified prospect and she invested way too much time with them in her pipeline.
They wanted to do lunch and visit, but not buy.
She finally re-evaluated each one and decided to maintain the friendship and ask them for a referral, then eliminated them from her qualified buyer list.
This seller shifted her attention to qualifying her prospects to quality rather than quantity and her sales results turned around.
4. Track your Prospecting Efforts
Prospecting activities is what it’s all about to make those sales. Jeffery Fox, The Rainmaker, has a fun and easy way to monitor your progress with his 20-point plan.
The 20-point plan is as follows:
1 point: each new lead, referral or an introduction to a decision maker.
2 points: each appointment to meet the decision maker.
3 points: meeting the decision maker face-to-face.
4 points: a commitment to a close (a purchase) or to an action that directly leads to a close.
The challenge is now yours to use this 20-point system for 3 months and see how many more sales you can close!
It’s time to fill the pipeline for guaranteed sales success.
By the way, if you’d like to know how your sales reps can crush their numbers monthly in 30 minutes or less, then check this out http://bit.ly/1U5OTlD