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prospecting and communicationFinding new customers is the bane of most salespeople, yet too many times, the reason it is so difficult is salespeople give up too easily.

Really, I should say it’s not that salespeople give up too easily — it’s that they just don’t follow-up.

For some reason, too many salespeople believe if they make one phone call, send one email or mail one letter to a prospect, then that is all it takes.

There is this magical belief that the single communication will be enough to open doors.

People who believe that are the same people who believe the tooth fairy is real and there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

Go ahead and say you’re not that type of salesperson, but don’t look too closely into a mirror. You just might see yourself doing exactly what I’ve described: Relying on one outreach to a prospect to be enough.

Prospecting requires following up again and again.

It’s not a one-inning baseball game.  Is there a magic number?  No. It varies by industry, customer profile and a number of other criteria. But the number I tell people to start with is six.

I believe six contacts to a prospect is the minimum to determine if they might become a customer.

The six contacts should be staggered over a period of time, such as one to two months, and should consist of different delivery forms. Each delivery should focus on a different need.

Read what I wrote in the previous paragraph.

Do you measure up?  Most people don’t.  Let’s not forget, I said six should be the “minimum.” I’ve had prospecting campaigns run as long as 30 contacts for some industries.

The key is to have a plan and to follow-through.

The worst thing you can do is to spray your prospects once and then never let them hear from you again.  That is not sales prospecting. That is spraying and praying and sorry, but it’s not going to work.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.