Sales Prospecting calls play a critical role in feeding the sales pipeline for any company. Instead, they start the call by asking questions.
For most companies, the ability to find potential customers is the difference between growth and bankruptcy.
Here's a systematic approach, loosely based upon a conversation with Thomas Ray Crowelauthor of the excellent book Simple Selling. Get a decent list of prospects.
Ideally, you want to be prospecting for customers who are already likely to buy. To do that, draw your list of prospects from the following sources in this order: People whom your existing customers have contacted and suggested that they get in touch with you.
People whom you've connected with personally at industry events or online via social networking. People who've shown an interest in your offerings by accessing your website and leaving contact data. People who have the job title that typically buy your offering inside industries into which you typically sell.
Create a qualifying script. Based upon your experience, define a conversational way to ask, during an initial conversation, whether or not the suspect has a budget, authority to spend the budget, and a need for your offering.
In most cases, qualifying scripts are built around open-ended questions that you ask during the conversation. I've provided you with a list of these questions in my previous post " 14 Ways to Qualify a Sales Lead.
Set reasonable prospecting goals. Set a target for how many prospects you will need in your pipeline order to generate the number of sales that you need.
For example, if you must generate five sales a week and on average close one out of fifty prospects, you will need to make calls a week.
Based upon how many of your prospecting calls "go through," estimate the amount of time it will take to make those calls, including the time that will be required to have a meaningful conversation once you've gotten into one. Get into a positive mental state.
Find a place where you won't be interrupted or distracted. Take a few minutes to focus yourself and your thoughts: Believe you will succeed.
If you fail try again.For example, if you are gold prospecting, you may need to acquire a prospecting licence or ‘Mines Right’ before you start your prospecting expedition. If you are detecting at sports grounds, city parks, or other public facilities, you may need permission from the .
Prospecting is the art of opening new relationships. The new business opportunities that later turn into sales are initially identified through prospecting, making prospecting the lifeblood of sales.
The first way to improve your prospecting results is to acknowledge its importance to your sales results and treat it accordingly. Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously. Always have more people to see than you have time to see them. ~ Brian Tracy.
Why B2B Sales Prospecting Needs More Attention Than You Think. That is easier said than done, of course. Prospecting is focused on getting the customer through the first two stages: Attention and Interest. The end goal is getting a potential customer to say, “Yes, I want to learn more.” That's important to remember, because as soon as you start talking to the prospect about products, you’ve jumped past the first two stages and are already.
Because prospecting is both art and science, the correct mindset leads to successful prospecting – and ultimately more lucrative sales. For leaders, encouraging sales professionals to “keep their chins up” or “look on the sunny side of things” – especially after rejections – is ineffective at setting the right attitude.
For example, if you are gold prospecting, you may need to acquire a prospecting licence or ‘Mines Right’ before you start your prospecting expedition. If you are detecting at sports grounds, city parks, or other public facilities, you may need permission from the local Council.