Tips on Prospecting: Never Do These
At the end of all of our training sessions, we ask the question “what is the one thing you heard today that you are going to start doing, stop doing, or implement into your day to day that you believe will make your sales process more effective?” People always have an answer. Without fail, there is something they have picked up during our time together that is additive to them and their roles as salespeople.
But one of the things I hear most about is what people are going to stop doing when it comes to prospecting. In my opinion, there are 3 major things to never do when prospecting.
3 Things to Never Do When Prospecting
1. Spending too much time researching
Spending too much time researching your prospect before the initial call. Let me start by saying- I’m not suggesting you don’t educate yourself or know who you are calling on. It’s obviously critical to identify certain pieces of information that will be additive to your prospecting call. However, that critical information is often less than we think it is. What you really need to do is just pick up the phone. The reason being is the purpose of the initial call is not to sell but instead identify an opportunity worth pursuing by having a conversation and asking questions that uncover a prospects compelling reason to have an additional conversation. Utilize your calendar and block off time in your day for research. I’ve always put it at the end of my day that way when it comes time to make calls the following, you are ready to pick up the phone.
2. Creating better focus & limiting email distractions
Getting lost in the “follow-up” game. How many of you can relate to this- throughout your work day your email is open even if you are not actively working in it. But once a notification pops up saying you have a new email, you quickly stop whatever it is you’re doing to read and attend to it. For me, it happens all the time and I know it does for many of my peers. It would be easy to spend all day calling or responding to internal or current client questions and requests. But if I’m being blunt, working with current clients is a lot easier than tracking down new business. I’m not saying don’t service your existing clients or book of business. But the priority of your day is prospecting for NEW business. You get paid to hunt, qualify and close new opportunities. My recommendation is to start and end your day with follow up to existing business and internal items. Otherwise, close or keep your email minimized. If it’s an emergency, they will find other ways to contact you. And just like I recommended before, this works best when you block time off on your calendar and you stick to your schedule.
3. Wasting time on prospects that won’t buy
Pursuing opportunities that do not qualify for your business. Sometimes we are so focused on selling and hitting goals that any opportunity in our pipeline is better than nothing. But pursuing prospects that don’t have a compelling reason, the time, money or resources to make a change, who continue to “think it over”, stall or delay, and thus aren’t going to close, is a waste of your time. So in reality, having a pipeline full of unqualified opportunities leads to not hitting your goals anyway. If you were to analyze your business, you’ll find that you typically don’t just sell to anyone. You have an ideal client profile- those clients that make up the best of your book. So, spend some time figuring out what that looks like and then work to actively disqualify opportunities from your pipeline that don’t look like that. That way you can focus your attention on those that really have the chance to move forward.
I’m sure I could come up with an entire list of things not to do when prospecting, but these are the ones I believe can have the biggest impact on your sales success.
Recruitment Specialist & Sales Development Expert