We have arrived at #4 on my list of Top 10 Reasons Most Prospecting Plans Don’t Work.
Number 1 is using the same prospecting process for all of your prospects, number 2 is having too many prospects in your pipeline, and number 3 is not allowing enough time to follow up.
Not segmenting your prospects based on who they are and their needs.
This ties back into the first item on the list. You must be able to segment, and don’t think for a moment it’s around what you sell.
Segmenting is about who the prospect is and the outcomes they expect to achieve.
For example, one type of prospect might look to what you have to offer as a way of preventing pain or risk in their business.
Another person may look at the same item you sell as a way to gain a competitive advantage.
What this means is your approach and messaging must be different. What works for one is not going to work for the other.
Very frequently you are not going to know the specific needs of the prospect until you are able to meet with them. What this means is you have to vary your prospecting process, maybe even after the first contact.
Example is you might be selling software and your target buyer is finance departments. The person who is buying it to prevent risk is most likely driven by a different timetable than the person who is buying it as a competitive advantage. The sooner you can identify these needs, the sooner you can tailor your approach.
The challenge is many times prospects may look alike to you on the surface, and it’s only after you’ve had a first contact that you then know which way to lead.
This is why it’s so important to build your prospecting process around gaining information. Best way to do this is by asking questions or posing scenarios designed to allow the prospect to see and share their true need.
Your objective is to review why customers have bought from you in the past and use this knowledge to build out options you can use with prospects going forward.
For more information on prospecting techniques that get results, check out Breakthrough Sales University.
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.