I bet you didn’t know January is “Prospecting for Sales Month.”

If you’re wondering who made it the official “Prospecting for Sales Month,” well, it was me.

Yes, I decided if January can be “diet month” then it could also be something important with regard to something so crucial to your business.

The reason I’m declaring this for January is simple.  It’s the start of a new year, and for most salespeople, it means the start of a new quota.  One reason salespeople get behind is they wait too long to develop new leads.  This is the sole reason why I say January is “Prospecting for Sales Month.”

As you put together your prospecting plan, allocate time each day — or minimally, each week — where you are actively engaged in prospecting.  This does not mean thinking about prospecting or gathering information on potential prospects.

No, this means actively calling on prospects.

Another task to do in January is to make sure you start right away prospecting on those customers who may take the better part of the year to turn into a customer.   You know who these are. These are the big kids on the block — the prospects who when you turn them into a customer, they will create a significant amount of new business.

Too many times I watch salespeople put off going to work on these big fish prospects until it’s too late to make an impact in the current year.  What happens is the salesperson sees that the opportunity for getting business this year is most likely not going to happen, so they shift and prospect with small fish.  End result is the salesperson never winds up going after the big fish.

One final note on why I’m declaring January as “Prospecting for Sales Month.” It is because it’s also the best time for sales managers, CEOs, COOs, and others to get out visiting customers.

Top level people have an ability to get meetings with customers that salespeople many times can’t get.  More importantly, in these meetings, a CEO or other senior level person can ask questions and get answers a salesperson might not be able to get.  Using senior level people early in the year as a tool to open up new opportunities will result in big payouts later in the year.

It’s January.

What are you waiting for?

It’s time to get your sales prospecting machine moving.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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