Powerful Prospecting Tips
Selling is a contact sport and prospecting for
new business is the name of the game! You'll never meet a salesperson that failed because they had too many
prospects to talk to. For the majority of salespeople, finding new
customers is without a doubt the most difficult and stressful aspect
of the profession. Here are six, practical tips to help you
become more effective at generating new business and following up with
1. Prospecting for new business is similar to
working out. You know it's good for you and it will produce positive results if you do it
routinely. Professional salespeople prospect daily. It's important to block off specific time on your calendar for
prospecting activities such as phone calling and emailing. Treat your
prospecting time with the same respect as you would any other
important appointment, otherwise, there is a tendency that it will
slip through the cracks. This is not the time to check your emails,
play solitaire on the computer, make a personal phone call or chat
with your associates. Stay focused and take your prospecting
seriously. Set the tone by closing your office door and have your
incoming calls held unless it is a call from a client or a prospect.
2. Be prepared, get organized and take good
notes. It's critical to have a computerized contact system to record remarks and
suspense future contacts or appointments.
3. Use a script - don't shoot from the hip. There's only one thing worse than listening to a salesperson read a script
over the phone and that is to listen to a salesperson without a
script. Obviously, it's important to not only have a script but to practice it until it
sounds smooth and natural. Set aside time to role-play with an
associate over the phone. By taking turns presenting and critiquing
you'll gain confidence, polish your script and be more effective. When
prospecting, avoid the temptation to sell over the phone. Your
objective is to gather information and make the appointment.
4. Strike while the iron is hot! When working
with a new prospect, it's important to make contact quickly. Prospects are perishable. No
matter how interested a prospect may appear, don't wait for them to call you. You are only one of many competing
interests for your prospect's time and money.
5. Keep the high ground and avoid the
temptation to badmouth your competition. While it is fair to make
head-to-head comparisons, you should avoid personal attacks. Attacking
your competition makes you look unprofessional and petty. Emphasize
the benefits of your product or service by guiding your prospect
through a comparison of quality and price. Play to your strengths and
not the weakness of your competition. Let your prospect draw his or
her own conclusions from your comparison.
6. Rejection is a natural aspect of the sales
process so don't take it personally. Learn from rejection, use it as a feedback
mechanism and look for ways to improve your presentation. Salespeople
who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the
sale. Sales is a numbers game pure and simple. As a professional
baseball player, if you can average four hits out of ten times at bat
you are heading for the Hall of Fame. Research indicates that in sales
you can expect your prospect to say NO five times before he or she
buys. With this in mind, realize that with every sales rejection you
receive, you are one step closer to making the sale!
Prospecting for new business should be viewed
more as a mindset rather than merely as an activity. It's something you need to be constantly aware of because you never know
where your next prospect will be coming from. It really doesn't matter how competent you are or how well you know your product line,
if you don't have a qualified prospect in front of you, you don't have a sale.
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