Maybe I should call this article, “fairy tales too many salespeople believe.”
In my book, High-Profit Prospecting, I call out 6 prospecting myths. For many salespeople, these are more than myths but instead false facts they want to believe. They want to believe them because they can use it as their crutch, their excuse to not prospect.
Go ahead and blow off prospecting. When you do, you’ll be blowing off any chance of making your number. It’s your decision. With that said, let me share with you the 6 myths from Chapter 2 of my book:
The 6 Myths of Prospecting:
1. One and done
2. I’ll prospect when I’m done taking care of my existing customers.
3. It’s impossible to have a dedicated time to prospect.
4. We’ve made it this long without having to prospect.
5. If we provide great customer service to our existing customers, we won’t have to prospect.
6. Only “born” salespeople can prospect.
There they are! Read them and discard from your mind once and for all! Now that you’ve read them, let me blow them up some more to ensure you do not allow them to seep back into the cortex of your brain.
-One and done: what a stupid idea to think by making a single contact to a prospect, you will either have them begging to do business with you or clearly saying they’re not interested. I’ve got kids, so I know what it’s like to have to repeat a message over and over to get someone’s attention. And that’s just to get their attention. Trust me, it takes even more to get them to take action.
-I’ll prospect when I’m done taking care of business. This excuse is used by every salesperson who is afraid to engage with people they don’t know. For some reason, they believe this fear, yet at the same time they don’t think anybody else sees it in them. If you can’t reach out to people you don’t know, get out of sales or at least move your lame self into a customer service role. Whatever it is, do something, but don’t remain in sales! Taking care of existing customers is something we all do, but we cannot allow it to overwhelm our time. Prospecting is a muscle that must be worked regularly. You will never overcome this myth without exercising your prospecting muscle on a daily basis.
-It’s impossible to have a dedicated time to prospect. This is a cheap excuse people use when they realize at the end of the day that they haven’t spent any time working on the top end of their sales pipeline. If you’re committed to do something, you do it regularly and most likely, you do it at the same time. Commitment is a word too many salespeople don’t want to associate with when it comes to prospecting. Don’t use the excuse that your customers are different, or that your industry is unique. Every salesperson can use that bold lie. You make the time by scheduling the time!
-If we provide great customer service to our existing customers, then we won’t have to prospect. Wow, never has there been a bigger myth bought into by new salespeople or startups that have early success. They think because they started off with success, it will be given to them each morning. Dreamer! Early success does not mean there will be long-term success. Regardless of how much business falls into your lap, you have to always work to develop new opportunities. Business that falls into your lap is typically due to something in the marketplace or a change in customer needs or something special you make. Regardless, it’s typically due to something with a finite amount of time associated with it and then, when that time runs out boom, so do the customers. Remember Blockbuster? How about Snapchat? How about Nokia telephones or Blackberry? You must always be cultivating new customers and new markets if you want to sustain yourself.
-Only “born” salespeople can prospect. I didn’t realize we had a genetic breakthrough and could create salespeople at birth. At best, this is a cheap excuse believed by people who are simply scared to do what they need to do. If you believe in how you can help people, you owe it to them to reach out. If you fail to prospect them, you are doing them a disservice! Is that a hard pill to swallow? If it is then it’s because you don’t believe enough in how you can help others. Sales is about helping people, and prospecting is the activity of qualifying people you can sell to.
Are you ready to discard the fairy tales and myths that hold salespeople back? The success you achieve is yours, nobody is going to do it for you, so go out and get it!
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