Viewing Posts for: Jonathan Craig
When I first started out in sales, I didn’t expect sales prospecting to be so tough. I was a bit naïve and expected more instant success. I wasn’t prepared for strong objections and rejection.
I wish someone had said to me beforehand, “Look, this is going to be hard. You’re going to get knock-backs and rejections. The win rate is going to be low at first; you’ve got to expect that.” Now, I know how tough prospecting can be. If it’s not page one of the sales manual, it should be.
That’s why I’ve prepared several posts to help sales professionals improve their sales prospecting. In Four Tips for Better Sales Prospecting and Five More Tips for Even Better Sales Prospecting, I shared some thoughts on ways to make prospecting an easier and more integral part of the job. In this post, I present six final thoughts on how to sales prospect more effectively.
Set an objective. Know what you want to achieve with every call to a prospect. The goal of the first call might only be to set up a second call during which you can have a needs dialogue. Or, the goal might be to have a physical meeting. You have limited time to get your point across, so know what you want to accomplish beforehand. Develop a really sharp elevator pitch. Yes, you will need an elevator pitch for your first contact, so » Continue Reading.
Sales Prospecting is rarely anyone’s favorite activity
In my first post — Four Tips for Better Sales Prospecting — I shared some initial thoughts on how to make sales prospecting an integral part of the job as a sales professional. It’s not that sales prospecting is a new concept; it’s clearly at the heart of what everyone in sales should be doing continually. The issue is that it’s rarely anyone’s favorite activity and, as such, tends to fall off the to-do list when other priorities arise. That’s why I’m focusing this post on sharing more sales prospecting tips for even better demand generation.
Expect rejection. This is probably the number one reason to avoid prospecting. Rejection is a frequent outcome, as prospects decline your calls, don’t answer e-mails, or don’t give you a decisive no. Still, prospecting is a numbers game. The more you do it, the higher your chances of getting a hit. The trick is to develop a thick skin, expect attrition, and be prepared for rejection. If prospecting was easy, everyone would do it with no qualms. It’s not easy, as many prospects are resistant to changing their incumbent vendor or trying a new solution. But, if you’re prepared for rejection, it makes less of an impact when it does happen. Practice, practice, practice. Golfing legend Gary Player once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Think of Tiger Woods in his » Continue Reading.
Sales Prospecting Requires the Will and Skill
Sales Prospecting is at the heart of what every sales professional should be doing continually. It doesn’t matter who you are, your level of experience, or your position within an organization. While it’s great to have leads provided to you by the Marketing organization and to work with existing clients, if you don’t engage in sales prospecting on a regular basis, you will struggle when the need to find new clients arises — as it always does.
Simply put, sales prospecting is a fundamental part of being in sales. Most sales professionals will admit that, yes, it has to be done, but they would probably also admit that prospecting is not their favorite activity. In recognizing its importance to selling success and the tendency to put it off or avoid it altogether, I’ve developed a list of sales prospecting tips and techniques to help make prospecting a more regular and successful part of the job.
Schedule time on your calendar. Put your commitment in writing by blocking out time on your Outlook calendar or whatever other scheduling system that you use. Set aside time each week just for prospecting, and tell yourself you’re not going to do anything else for that period. This will give you a target to aim for, with time set aside to focus on this activity. When you write something down in your calendar, you » Continue Reading.