I wrote the book A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting, both of which apply to this topic of salespeople making prospecting mistakes. Here are the top 10:

1. Relying on Social Media

Social media is fine, but you can’t only rely on it and nothing else. You have to use every channel out there to reach people. This includes the phone, email, texting, or whatever other avenue of communication it may be. Don’t just sit there and think that you can depend on social media 100%. It can be fine for a slice of your audience, but you’ll never reach your full potential if that’s you’re only avenue.

2. Being Self-Focused

This is a big one. Guess what? Prospects don’t care how good you are. They don’t care how many awards you’ve received. They don’t even care how many years you’ve been in business. All they care about is their problems, and when you’re self-focused, you’re not going to get anywhere with them.

3. Not Tailoring Messages

Hey, folks, guess what? There’s information out there on everyone. You have no excuse to not tailor your message to each individual. Hey, people are busy and it’s noisier than ever in the world. The last thing people want to receive is some generic message; that’s just lame and pathetic. Tailor your message to the person.

4. No Clear Process

This happens when you say you’re just going to prospect a little bit today and little bit tomorrow. The agenda is unclear; you don’t know what’s going to happen or what you’re going to do with it. You decide to just wait and find out. It’s important to have a process that you can stick with and stay focused on.

5. Not Scheduling Enough Time

You’ll never be successful at prospecting by only doing it for 30 minutes per month. That’s impossible, because it’s not enough time. If you don’t have enough deals to close, it’s simply because you’re not spending enough time prospecting. Trust me, there is a direct correlation between the amount of deals you close and the amount of time you spend prospecting. If you’re not closing enough deals, you need to prospect more. However, don’t just say “I’ll prospect tomorrow.” You have to intentionally schedule the time in your calendar to prospect. You must be diligent and deliberate about scheduling time for it.

6. Not Being Clear with Your ICP

ICP is your ideal customer profile / persona / avatar. When you’re not clear about who your prospect is or who your prospect should be, you don’t get anywhere. It’s easy to sit there and see “squirrel… squirrel” running all over the place chasing the next thing / person but not actually making progress. If your ICP isn’t clear, you’ll waste your time chasing prospects that will lead you nowhere.

7. Failing to “Rinse and Repeat”

If you’ve read any of my other posts or books, you’ve definitely heard me share this. On every bottle of shampoo is the phrase “rinse and repeat.” That means that you apply new shampoo to your hair and then do the process again. You must be able to create repetitive messages but ones that are different that you can give to your prospects time and time again. A “one and done” kind of message doesn’t work nor does just two messages work. Continue reaching out 10, 15, even 20 times in a very succinct process.

8. Thinking Everyone is a Prospect

This goes back to the whole ICP. If you think everyone is a prospect, you’re wrong. You might think that since they downloaded your eBook, attended this webinar, or did this, they’re a prospect. That is not necessarily the case – at least not every time. All those actions do is give you a name of a person. That’s it. It doesn’t mean the person is a prospect. Be sure to qualify each of your prospects. Otherwise, all you have are suspects. Far too often, I see salespeople spending way too much time chasing nothing but suspects and leads.

9. Failing to Use a CRM

Whoa, what did I just say? Yes, I said that failing to use a CRM is a prospecting mistake. There’s no way that you can manage your process in today’s environment without having some sort of a CRM system. I am not saying it has to be complex. It can be simple. There are plenty of programs out there that suit every level of organization out there. You just have to pick one and go with it, so you can track your process and stay organized.

Remember, you are not beholden to the CRM system. It is there to support you. That’s a key distinction. That said, don’t overinvest in a CRM system where you end up sitting there spending all of your time just trying to maintain it.

10. Giving up Too Soon

You call them three times and they don’t respond, so you assume they must not be interested. That does not make a sales prospect in sales prospecting process. Not at all. No. You’re giving up too soon. More businesses lose because salespeople give up too quickly. Just because they’re not responding doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to reach out. You have to keep coming at them. Persevere and keep going.

There you go! Those are the 10 fatal mistakes that too many salespeople make today. I talk about all of this in more detail in my books, High-Profit Prospecting and A Mind for Sales. Grab your copy today! When done right, prospecting works!

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.


Share This