If you want to be great at sales, prospecting must be a part of your daily work life. Prospecting is a muscle, and if you want to do it well, you have to exercise it. Are your prospecting muscles weak?
Let’s dive into 10 ways you can overcome the barriers to prospecting.
Video – Overcoming the Barriers to Prospecting
1. Know Your Objective
Unfamiliarity with your sales objectives is one of the biggest issues. You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, I prospect, but I really don’t know what I want to do.”
Are you clear as to what your objective is? Are you focused on getting prospects qualified?
Are you trying to move them to another person to make an account call? Whatever it is, you need to know your objective before you even start.
2. Be Customer Focused
Too often, salespeople think prospecting involves talking to clients about their own company. News flash: Nobody cares about your company.
Your focus should be sharing with them and talking to them about the problems and challenges they are facing.
It is not about your business. It is all about their problems and their business.
3. Know Your Ideal Prospect
I talk a lot about ICPs, or Ideal Customer Profiles, in my book, A Mind for Sales. Do you know your ICP? I don’t want to waste my time chasing, following up, and spending time with people who I can’t actually serve, or have needs that I can’t do well.
The tighter I focus my effort, the more successful I’m going to be.
4. Develop a Cadence and Have a Plan
One and done is not effective. Having a cadence can be easy.
Recently, I was working with an individual, and we developed a cadence where they simply send out three tips in an email. Three days later, they follow up with a phone call. If that doesn’t go anywhere, they come back and repeat the process two weeks later with three other pieces of information. Then, call three days later, and if that does not work, they come back.
Now, the process you use is going to vary based on what you sell and who buys, among other factors. But it does not have to be complex.
Make a plan, and get it done. It’s an easy process that I can replicate as it becomes a habit.
5. Block Time
You’ve got to reserve time on your calendar exclusively for prospecting.
I was just on the phone with an individual who was sharing that they simply were not finding the time because they were allowing other things to get in the way. It can’t be about lack of time, you have to make the time.
When people say, “I don’t have time for prospecting,” all I hear is: “Prospecting is not a priority for me.” You have to block time on your schedule, and you have to honor that commitment.
Sales managers: If you are reading this, you need to make sure your salespeople are blocking time and you are helping them honor that. Keep them accountable for their priorities.
Read more about how to fill your prospecting calendar.
6. Have the Right Mindset
If you know you have the ability to help someone, then it is your obligation to reach out to them. I cannot stress that enough. This is why I wrote the book, A Mind for Sales!
If I am focused on my ideal prospect, then I know I can help them. It is in my best interest to be reaching out to them, and really, it’s in their best interest, too.
Having the right mindset also means I am not expecting every call to be perfect. I know there are going to be bumps in the road, and that’s okay. I can mentally prepare myself that it is going to take a series of calls to make things happen, and that’s okay, too.
Adjusting your mindset helps you set the right internal goals and the right internal objectives, so that your mind does not work against you.
7. Be Focused
Keep distractions to a minimum. When I’m prospecting, that is truly what I’m doing. I am not prospecting and also responding to emails, or also taking care of something else. When I am prospecting, I’m solely concentrated on the task at hand.
Oftentimes, people will block two hours for prospecting but only make two calls. Their excuse is normally, “Well, I got caught up doing this and that.” That should be a red flag. You must maintain your focus.
8. Follow Up
Following up is a practice that is so easy and basic. However, too many salespeople simply do not follow up with their prospects.
Failing to follow up is like building a house, but never finishing the roof. The prospecting process is not complete without following up.
Read more about prospecting mistakes salespeople still make.
9. Use All the Tools
Using all the tools means you are using email, the telephone, and social media. In fact, you might even be using text messages. When you’re fully committed to your prospecting, you are using every tool out there to make it happen.
10. Have a Clear CTA
Last but not least, you must have a clear CTA, or call to action. To have a clear CTA, you must know exactly what you are asking for. Know what you want and be looking for it. Make that clear in every message you send!
My challenge to you is to try these 10 practices to overcome the barriers to prospecting this week.
In search of more prospecting training? My latest masterclass, Prospecting: Building the Plan and Making it Happen is public May 10-20. We dive deep into how to prospect successfully, and this masterclass takes a personal, introspective look at what prospecting practices could help your business.
When you enroll, you’ll receive:
- 8 in-depth coaching videos with me
- 20-page masterclass action guide
- “Setting Up Your Prospecting” game plan
- Special access to a TSHU course available to Level 3: All Access students
Broaden your skillset even more for the same price by becoming a Level 3 student at The Sales Hunter University. You’ll receive live coaching, office hours with me, and more valuable material to help you grow and learn.
Go beyond just reading my blog, and find unlimited personal growth, hands-on learning, quick tips, abundant resources, and an amazing community.
Are you or your sales team looking to reach higher and gain a decisive competitive advantage?
I’m personally inviting you to this year’s OutBound Conference in Atlanta.
OutBound is the only conference focused exclusively on sales prospecting, pipeline, and productivity. There is nothing like it. I’d love to meet you in person, but it will be offered online, too.
Use my code, mark100, to save $100 off your ticket.
Copyright 2021, 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.