I hear excuses all the time as to why someone can’t prospect.
One I hear frequently is, “I’ve got to take care of all these existing customers. I’ll prospect when I get done with that.”
Oops—then you never get time because those existing customers just take up so much of it.
Let me go through six things that you can do right now to overcome this and get that off your plate.
**This blog is part of the 15 Reasons Holding Salespeople Back series**
1. Schedule time on your calendar to prospect.
Unless you schedule time and keep that commitment to yourself, you will not actually prospect.
It may only be 30 minutes, or only an hour, but commit yourself to it. When you honor your commitments, then guess what? You’ll begin to schedule more and more time to prospect.
2. Customers will always demand more of you.
This is just the nature of the beast. This is also why I think I can almost answer my phone too fast. If a customer knows that every time they call me, I pick up on the first ring, we train them to call us and expect that.
If a customer calls and I’m in the middle of my prospecting window, I let them wait. Also, if you roll over and play dead for them all the time, they begin to think that you don’t have any business. To a certain degree, people want to do business with busy people. Now, they don’t want to be ignored. But it may take an hour or so to get back to them, and that’s okay.
For example, I just had an existing customer send me a request. They wanted me to do something and I said, “Great, but I won’t be able to take care of it until two days from now, but you’ll have it in two days.” Sometime that’s necessary, which take me to point #3…
3. Don’t over commit.
If you overcommit to your customers, all you’re going to have time for is taking care of existing customers. Consequently, you’re not going to have any time to prospect.
Set limits with yourself and your customers to not overcommit.
4. Schedule time with existing customers.
I have a couple time blocks on my calendar for existing customers. Part of that time, I’m going to be on the phone with them.
I make the work fit the time. Otherwise, time gets away from me, so I assign time for existing customers.
5. Rely on other sources within your company.
In my own company, I have a staff and there are things that I give to them. In your own company, there may be subject matter experts you can contact to help you out.
You may be a solopreneur thinking, how do I do this? It might be that you need to hire somebody for five hours a week or two hours a week. Or, you go to Upwork, or some outsourcing site and find some helpful professional.
Rely on other sources to help give you time to prospect, because if you don’t have time to prospect, your business is not going to grow.
6. Be firm with your existing customers.
You cannot allow them to control your life.
We all have high-maintenance customers, and unless we control them right from the start, you’re in trouble.
Be thankful you have existing customers, but do not let them dominate you.
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Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.