Do you want a formula for prospecting that you can engrain in your selling skill set with tremendous results?

Here are the four steps to better prospecting:

1. Schedule the time

2. Identify the prospect

3. Create your opening

4. Make the call

Too many salespeople make prospecting far more complicated than it needs to be.

It isn’t that hard if you have a plan that is both simple and effective.  It starts by having a dedicated time each day or each week that you are going to prospect.  Too many people do not prospect for one simple reason — they get busy doing other stuff and never get around to it.

I believe the reason they never get around to it is because they don’t want to do it.

First, reserve the time on the calendar and don’t let other things get in the way.

Second, identify the prospect. This is easier than ever, thanks to the internet.  I could go on for hours giving you hundreds of techniques to identify the prospect and their contact info, but I’ll have to save that for a another time.

Let’s just leave it at this — if you know how to use Google and sites like Linkedin, Jigsaw and others, you’ll be just fine.

Third, determine what your opening is going to be.

I strongly recommend the telephone. There’s nothing more effective or efficient.  Yes, it does mean a lot of voice mails, but it is still effective if you have the right opening.  Take the time to craft your short brief opening that is designed to get them thinking about their situation.

Don’t waste your energy extolling the virtues of how wonderful you and your company are. Trust me — the prospect doesn’t care!

Fourth, make the call.

The number of salespeople who go through the first three steps only to not make the call is way too high.  Just make the call!

Don’t sit there and strategize about how you need to wait until the sun, moon, and stars line up just right.  If you do that once, you’ll do it again and again and you’ll never make the calls you need to make.

Prospecting is not difficult, and in the end, it’s very rewarding, because it’s how you develop new customers.

If you want to dig deeper into prospecting and expanding your business, read this article on 15 Questions to Ask to Grow Your Business.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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