Prospecting: Back to the Basics

The key to success in sales is developing high probability prospects - something that is easier said than done. It takes both confidence and a willingness to foster a strong relationship between yourself and the client in order to develop prospects that are willing to buy. Saying that, I’ve developed a list of 10 tips that will lead to prospecting success:

1. Create a Highly Targeted Prospecting List. Once you’ve determined your target audience, use a highly reputable list broker to create such a list to keep costs low. If you already have a book of business, call your existing customers as if they were new customers.

2. Be Persistent with Calling. Since it is very rare that a customer will buy after the first call, it is important that you call every name on your list every 3-4 weeks. If you consistently show interest, the prospect will be more likely to agree meeting with you.

3. Present a “Prospecting Offer.” A prospecting offer is a brief description that describes who you are, what you are selling and two features of your product and service. Each time you call a prospect, change up the features to avoid being repetitive. Be sure to end the spiel by asking if they are interested with what you have to offer.

4. Facing Rejection. If the prospect responds saying that they’re not interested, leave it at that. By choosing to say goodbye without pressing for a sale you’re making the call pleasant, which will prevent them from asking that you not call again.

5. Scheduling Prospecting Sessions. If you focus on a task for a prolonged period of time, you will be more effective. That’s why I suggest that you commit time to a 3-4 hour prospecting session on a weekly basis.

6. Record Yourself. Taping yourself speaking during prospecting calls is a perfect way to learn your faults and improve the way you sound over the phone. It’s important that you sound relaxed and that you present your offer without persuasion.

7. Disqualify Low Probability Prospects. Although it is important to stay on top of prospects, you need to be able to recognize the ones who cannot be closed. Don’t let anxiousness and desperation prevent you from removing such prospects.

8. Understand that Prospecting is a Numbers Game. Always keep track of your dials per hour, and the ratio of prospecting offers to dials.

9. Keep Accurate Records. Keep records of all calls and use them for reference to ensure that you are constantly improving results.

10. Pick up the Phone. The best way to build a rapport with a prospect is through the phone. This is a cheap and easy way to build up your sales volume and once you’ve began receiving referrals your assistant will be able to make the calls for you.