Are you one of the many salespeople who knows they need to prospect but are afraid to? You rationalize away why the prospect you need to call isn’t going to become a customer. Your mind lights up with countless reasons as to why calling the prospect is a bad idea. You settle the argument in your mind by deciding to send the prospect a lame email. Then, you send the email and think mission accomplished. Of course, the email doesn’t generate a response so your mind kicks in and says, “I told you this was not worth the time.”
Did I just describe what goes through your mind on a regular basis? Prospecting is not the big bad evil activity you or anyone else has to dread. Let’s put it into perspective. What you do is not going to create world peace, change the course of mankind, or even get your children to eat more vegetables. Prospecting is a conversation between two parties – that’s it! It’s not complex.
The Mental Block People Have with Prospecting:
Your objective when you’re talking with a prospect is to do just that: have a conversation that leads to a next step. The next step can be as simple as agreeing to the next time you’ll talk, or more robust of a next step if the prospect expresses urgency. We can get tangled up into all types of complex ideas, but let me share just two things you can do to create an engaging conversation.
First, ask a question that your prospect finds relevant to him/her. It’s as simple as asking a question about something that is happening in their industry or with some of their customers. What you don’t want to ask is, “how’s business?” That’s lame – you know it and the prospect knows it. Ask them something that will engage their mind.
Second, listen to their answer and then ask them a follow-up question about their response. Now you’re really engaging them because you’re listening to them! If you do this, you’ll start a conversation. Go ahead and say it, “that’s not hard, I can do that!” Yes, you can do that!
When you have a conversation with the prospect, you’re better able to learn their needs and how you can help meet them. The more natural the conversation, the more information you’ll gather.
It’s the information you learn from the prospect that will allow you to go to the next step and have a second conversation that moves you to closer to a sale. Sales is not hard. It simply starts with a conversation, but don’t forget your role: listen first and ask questions second, based on what’s shared with you.
Take a moment to look back at how you got your best customers and why they’re your best customers. There is a level of trust and confidence between the two of you. If that works for your best customers, don’t you think that’s a great recipe for prospects?
Congratulations on having a job that is all about having conversations with other people! Can you think of anything more fun? That’s why I love sales, and its why I love prospecting. The ability to help others is something I never get tired of, and I know you never will too when you see prospecting as a conversation.
Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Result