Do you have a mind to prospect? In my most recent book, A Mind for Sales, I talk about prospecting being one of the key pieces within sales. Right now, I’ll walk you through 10 things that you need to do in order to have a mind to prospect.
Video: How to Have a Mind to Prospect:
1. It’s only a conversation
All you’re doing is talking to somebody. Far too many salespeople put an unnecessary amount of stress on the phone calls that they have to make. No, you’re not going to create world peace. No, you won’t solve world hunger problems. It’s just a conversation, so relax. Some of your conversations will go well, and some won’t. It’s ok.
2. Know your objective
Before you make the phone call, know what your objective is. Often, salespeople think they’re going to go all the way to get the sale. Unless you’re in a very simple item, that won’t happen. On the call, you’re just going to do two things. First, secure one piece of information. Next, come up with a next date and time to have a follow-up meeting. Chances are, the person didn’t expect your phone call and honestly doesn’t have time for it. That’s it. Know your objective before you make the call.
3. Create success in others
Your goal is to help others achieve success. When we sell, this is what we do. Whenever I close a deal and help a customer, I’m creating success in them. When you prospect, you’re starting another person on that journey towards success. That should excite you. It excites me! Whenever I make a prospecting call, I am beginning someone on a path to success.
4. Mind games
Your mind plays incredible games against you, and tells you why you can’t do something. In your head, you might hear: “Oh, you can’t do this. Oh, you can’t.” That’s not true. Then, your mind will tell you: “Oh, you need to take care of this customer,” or “You need to do this. Take care of this.” Your mind will always tell you everything you need to do except prospect. Then, you end up being busy, but not productive. It needs to be your goal to turn that negative prospecting mindset into a positive one. So, how do you do that? Look at all your current customers and make note of how you’ve helped them achieve success. Then, remind yourself that’s the reason why you prospect. When we prospect, we help customers. Take time to think through the people, the companies, and really the families that you’ve helped. It’s then that you begin to take that negative mindset and turn it into a positive one.
5. Set goals you can achieve
Too many times, I see people sit there and say, “Well, my pipeline is empty. I need to fill my pipeline within 30 days.” Trust me, that won’t happen. That’s an unattainable goal. You set goals that you can achieve. Don’t set goals that somebody else achieves, set goals that you can achieve. This means that if you’re struggling with prospecting, set yourself very simple goals. Maybe you set a goal to make just prospecting calls today. That’s it! Get over that hurdle and then you can increase it to six, and seven, and ten, and so on. It’s important to set goals that you’re capable of achieving, because momentum creates momentum and that will work to your advantage.
6. Work your plan
Often, salespeople will prospect a little bit but it didn’t work, so they try something else, and then they try something else. Work your plan. Hey, this is why I encourage so many people to pick up my book, High Profit Prospecting. It’s filled with a whole bunch of sales prospecting plans. Stick with your plan, because the results of prospecting don’t occur on the first call. The results from prospecting occur way down the line. I like to use the example of a farmer. He/she goes into their field to plant some seeds. They put those seeds in the ground. They come back a day or two later, and nothing’s growing. Nothing’s happened. They don’t say, “Oh well, let me plow the field under and I’ll start over again.” No way! That’d be insane. Again, maybe they put seeds in the ground and come back a few months later or a few weeks later. There’s stuff growing, but there’s nothing to harvest. Not for a moment do they think it didn’t work and they should cut it up, throw it away, and start over. No. Every farmer knows that they have to let it come all the way to harvest. Prospecting is a lot like that. You won’t get results on the first call. They’re going to come on call 14, 15, 18, 20. That’s just the way it is – always. However, you’ll never get to 14, 15, 18, 20, unless you first do one, two, three, four, five. You’ve got to work your plan.
7. Leverage your time
I talk a lot about how easy it is to get distracted. Well, I hate to break it to you but if you don’t leverage your time, your time will leverage you. Again, your time will keep telling you, “I got to do this. I’ve got to take care of this.” However, you’ll never get around to prospecting. Or maybe you say, “I’m going to prospect tomorrow,” but you end up spending all day preparing or planning to prospect and never actually make the call. When I talk about leveraging your time, I am referring to breaking it down into three windows.
The first window of time is planning to prospect followed by preparing to prospecting. The third and final window of time is actually prospecting – making the calls. Now, let’s break that down.
Planning means looking at your plan. What is working in your plan? Are there some emails that you need to change the wording of? Are there some voicemails that you need to tweak? Do you need to modify something in your playbook and cadence?
Next, you prepare to prospect. This involves looking at the prospects that you intend to call in your next prospecting cycle / prospecting window and asking yourself what information you need to gather and if your accomplishments are clearly laid out. Do you know the information that you need to share with those prospects?
The first two steps are crucial so that when you get to your prospecting window – whether it’s one hour, two hours, whatever chunk of time you’ve allotted – you are ready to prospect. This guarantees that you actually make the phone calls and get it done. Otherwise, you’ll probably spend all of your time preparing and planning and never actually doing it.
8. Know your outcome
What do I mean by know your outcome? These are the outcomes that your customers achieve. Look at your current customers to see the outcomes that they achieve. I am not talking about what you sold to them. I am referring to the outcomes that they achieved because of your relationship with them. When you zero in on that, it’s amazing what you’ll see. Chances are you’re prospecting prospects that are similar to your current customers. So, that means the outcomes that they should expect to achieve are probably similar to what your current customers have already achieved. When you know your outcome, you become a lot more confident in the questions you can ask and the conversations you can have.
9. Peer support
This is a necessity. Sales is not a solo activity, it is a team sport. Peer support is a must. You want to have other people (one or two or three other people) who have you on their team, and they are on your team, so you’re constantly supporting one another from a prospecting matter. You help motivate each other, you help hold each other accountable, you help them overcome obstacles, and you celebrate success together. The key is doing everything together. I wrote a whole chapter about mastermind groups in my book, A Mind for Sales. This is absolutely critical for success in sales.
10. Motivation / Celebration
Don’t sit there and say, “Well, my boss doesn’t motivate me.” It’s not your boss’s job to motivate you. No. All your boss can do is create an environment for you to motivate yourself. It’s your job to motivate yourself. That’s entirely up to you. One way to motivate yourself is by celebrating, but don’t look at somebody else’s accomplishments and get discouraged. No, only focus on your results and what you’ve achieved. You define your success.
You are on your own journey to success. That means you benchmark yourself against what you did yesterday, last week, and last month. Zero in on that. Stay in your lane and focus on you. Don’t dwell and think, “I want to be like that …” That is a good long-term goal, although initially it will probably discourage you.
Finally, always celebrate your wins no matter how small. Prospecting can be very mind numbing. I get it, yet there are successes that are worth celebrating no matter what. A small success might be having one successful phone call or it might be just getting the phone number or setting up a time to meet up. Consider all of those success – whatever it is. Focus on the wins. Be absolutely clear as to where you’re going. By celebrating success, you put yourself on a journey towards not only having a mind to prospect, but having a mind for sales. And the success, the results, and the rewards will follow.
If you haven’t already, go grab a copy of my books that I mentioned in this blog, including A Mind For Sales and High-Profit Prospecting. Both reads will offer you insights into planning and executing your prospecting plans. When you’re done, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share a review on Amazon or wherever you purchased the book. Reviews are the best way to help spread the word.
Copyright 2020, 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.