When It Comes to Prospecting, Don’t Start What You Can’t Finish

A huge mistake people make when prospecting is they think they’re being efficient by making a bunch of calls or emailing a group of prospects once and then thinking that qualifies as prospecting.

The definition of prospecting is creating a level of awareness with those who might do business with you.   This is not something that is going to be accomplished with a single phone call or email.

It takes continuity. 

Before starting any type of prospecting, you first have to ask yourself if you have the time and ability to make the necessary number of follow-up contacts with those you intend to prospect with.  Just answering this question truthfully can and will save a tremendous amount of time.

To put it bluntly, you are not being productive in your prospecting efforts if you don’t have an effective process for following up.

This is something I’ve talked about for a long time.

Far too many salespeople have used the excuse that prospecting doesn’t work, when in fact it’s not that prospecting doesn’t work as much as it’s their approach to prospecting that doesn’t work.

Set your calendar — this means your day, your week, and your month — to ensure you have the right amount of time in your schedule to be able to follow through with prospects.

The number of contacts it takes is going to vary depending on the industry the salesperson is selling to.    Minimally it’s at least 3 contacts with a prospect and could be as many as 8. Whatever the number, don’t start anything unless you know you can finish.

End result of this approach is that you will likely be contacting fewer prospects, but more of them will turn into customers because of your follow-through process.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.







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2 thoughts on “When It Comes to Prospecting, Don’t Start What You Can’t Finish”

  1. Mark,

    Great post. I think there are two solutions to this big, wide gap in the sales process.

    The first one is as old as stone which is discipline. Sales reps always want to be “busy” but in reality, making one smart decision (like scheduling time to follow up) could save them hours upon hours of being “busy.”

    Secondly, i think content selling and inbound sales is also fixing this problem. Instead of continually going back and pitching the prospect the entire car, you educate them on the value of each part and how it can help them get from A-B faster. Savvy reps are using content from their marketing department to push the sales cycle down the path to close.

    We wrote about how to close a VC in one email and provided a good example of how to use content to sell. http://salesloft.com/how-to-close-a-vc

    Thanks for the great post.


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