Business does not operate without sales, sales does not operate without prospecting; prospecting is the foundation from which all business is built.
Prospecting is always evolving, but some truths are absolute.
Whether you’re new to sales, or an old pro, consider this five-part series a refresher course on successful prospecting.
This is Part I of my 50 Prospecting Truths series…If you’re serious about prospecting, paying attention to these! And tune in for the next four weeks.
1. Accept reality, it’s your responsibility.
Prospecting does not belong to marketing. Prospecting does not belong to anybody else. It’s your responsibility.
It’s great that you may have a marketing team that helps you, or perhaps you have BDRs or SDRs that help get you leads and set up appointments for you, but it’s still your responsibility. You have to own it. And that means you have to spend time prospecting, regardless of the position you’re in.
2. Networking is not prospecting.
Networking is about building relationships. But prospecting is about getting meetings, getting things in your pipeline.
I may network today and six months from now it can turn into prospecting. But don’t think that I’m going to go out and fill my pipeline tomorrow by suddenly going to a bunch of networking events today. It just doesn’t work like that.
3. Prospecting is a muscle; it’s got to be exercised.
Too many sales people think, “Well, I’ve got enough business for this quarter. I don’t need to prospect, or I don’t need to prospect for another year. I’m good.” No, prospecting is a muscle.
It’s the same thing as going to a gym. You can’t go to a gym after not having gone for six months and suddenly think that one session is going to get you in shape. Success at the gym happens when you work out daily–same thing with prospecting.
4. Thinking about prospecting is not prospecting.
This drives me nuts. I see this all the time. People say, “I’m going to prospect. I’m going to prospect for two hours tomorrow.” But all they do is plan to prospect, do research, whatever. That’s not prospecting.
Prospecting is making it happen with the customer. That means you’re actively engaged with the customer.
Check out this post on How to Create More Time for Selling.
5. Be thankful sales is not easy.
If sales were easy, you wouldn’t have the potential to make the money that you do.
Sales is hard because not everybody can do it. That’s why mastering prospecting is your ticket to making big money in sales.
6. The perception of bad leads is just a perception.
I hear this all the time. “Well, the leads are bad.” How do you know? It depends on your mindset going into it.
I have watched professionals take the exact same list of leads, and one person is told these are bad leads, and you know what? They don’t get any business out of it. Another person is told these are great leads, and you know what? They get business out of it.
Your mindset going into your prospecting session determines the results you get coming out.
7. Always know it will take you twice as many attempts.
I hear salespeople say, “Well, I called them twice and they didn’t respond so they must not be interested.” How do you know you?
It will always take you twice as many touches. In other words, if you think it’s going to take you four or five attempts to reach somebody, it’s going to take you at least 10. It may take you 15. You have to be willing to stay in the game.
8. Follow-up is the norm, not the exception.
People put effort into making that first call, but then they fade away. They never follow up.
Success doesn’t happen on the first call. Success happens in the follow-up.
Are you following up with prospects who you’ve had an initial engagement with? Don’t fall off, persist!
9. Prospecting is not about you, it’s about the prospect.
Conversation cannot revolve around you.
Well, if I just tell them all about me, how wonderful I am, they’re going to want to buy for me because I’m so good, my company’s so good. Sorry, no, that ship’s sailed and it’s not including you.
All of your prospecting engagement has to be centered around the prospect and their needs.
10. Prospecting is a daily activity just like showering.
You take a shower every day, you practice personal hygiene every day. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. See, it’s the same thing with prospecting. Prospecting is a daily activity.
Stay tuned for Parts 2-5 of this 50 Prospecting Truths series via the blog and Youtube!
Get the full e-book here.
This week on The Sales Hunter Podcast…
A great number of things can kill a deal, from politics within an organization to salespeople creating their own objections and problems–or even a nasty surprise.
How do we avoid these road blocks? Tune in to this week’s episode with Tony Hughes, available Thursday!
Listen wherever you stream podcasts…and leave us a rating/review!
Better sales results requires a better sales process.
Join Mark Hunter and Meridith Elliott Powell for a Sales Logic Special Event.
Register here to attend LIVE on July 20th, 12pm-2pm EST, or watch the recorded event afterward.
Mark and Meridith are bring immense experience and valuable know-how so you’ll have new strategies you can apply right away.
Let’s explore topics such as: key components of a great process, what to measure, role of the leader/mentor/coach, and how to evaluate your process.
Register now, and don’t miss out!
Copyright 2022, 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.