Recently I was talking to a salesperson about their sales prospecting process.
One of the questions the person asked me was how many people should he be trying to prospect at one time. I asked him what his current plan was. He said he had a list of 300 names and was struggling to get through even once.
In fact I believe the issues this person was having is the same problem a lot of salespeople have when it comes to sales prospecting. They think if 30 prospects are good, then 300 would be really good. Sorry, I believe there is an inverse effect. Less is more when it comes to leads.
Don’t have so many prospects on your list that you can’t reach them effectively.
When I say “reach them effectively,” I mean reach them multiple times. If all you’re doing is contacting people once and thinking somehow the voicemail message you’re leaving is awesome and is going to generate millions in sales, then you’re smoking something funny. Leaving a single voicemail message is a huge waste of your time, and it’s an even bigger waste of time for the person on the other end.
Don’t start what you can’t finish. If you’re going to have names on your sales prospecting list, then they need to be a number you can manage not just today, but over the entire life of the prospecting process.
The advice I gave the salesperson was simple. Only have on your list the number of names you can get through in a two-week period.
By being able to get through the names in two weeks gives him the ability to contact the same people again two weeks later. It’s called repetition and it’s done to allow the prospect to become confident with us.
I should add that repeating the phone call process does not mean you’re leaving the same message. No, each telephone call or email to a prospect must contain a different proposition or focus upon a different need the customer is facing.
Key is being able to make more than one contact to a prospect, and this is why I’m a firm believer in less is more when it comes to sales prospecting.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
Great reminder Mark! At ProSales Connection we learned this lesson over time. As you know, we provide sales appointment setting programs to technology companies, and we often have to push back on our clients who want us to “boil the ocean.” They will bring us a list of thousands of contacts they want called and we have to tell them no. We have proven that if the goal is to set a sales meeting, then we need to work a smaller list so that we can plan to make multiple attempts. Our success rate goes up the more calls we make to a single prospect (at a reasonable cadence.) Less IS absolutely more! Great post!
Thank you for this information Mark. This is very similar to the issue that I’ve been facing. I will certainly focus on less being more.
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