Need More Sales?
Prospecting, the #1 Job for the CEO
your company need more sales? I’ll assume that for the majority,
the answer is yes. When did you last schedule and then spend an
hour prospecting for your business? With the mountain of things to
get done each day and the number of people looking for time on your
calendar, there is just no way that you can do that too. Maybe you
don’t really prospect, but leave that up to your sales manager and
sales team. Beware! You must cast the shadow, walk the talk and be
the lead prospector so that your team understands that prospecting
and bringing in new business is the number one job. Even for you.
Step into the shoes of your salesperson for just one moment
and think about these universal truths.
attitude about prospecting will determine how successful your sales
career will be. If you feel that prospecting is something you “have
to do”, then you will view it as drudgery. You will resist it; you
will find other things to do instead of prospecting. You will not
improve your skill at it, and therefore your performance and success
in sales will suffer. You must embrace prospecting. You must
understand that prospecting is the job. You get paid a lot of
money because you are willing to do what others won’t – prospect.
The operative word is willing!
daily leadership communicating a strong and positive attitude about
getting out and making calls? Are you catching people making phone
calls and setting appointments and holding them up to emulate? Are
you encouraging their use of you as a resource to help get in the
door? Are you sharing your company’s unique selling approach
numerous times a day? Are you holding daily and weekly sales
huddles and are they focused on what is in the pipeline and how to
well know, the people in sales who are making the most money are not
making the most because they are brighter or have better
presentations, or because their product is better than others. They
are making big money because they have figured out that the real job
is getting in front of people or businesses that need, want and can
pay for the product and services they provide.
In analyzing these salespeople who are successful year after year,
we find significant consistencies in behavior and practice
management. So, borrowing from Steven Covey, here are 7 Habits of
1) The only "A" priority is prospecting. Successful salespeople
service accounts just like everyone else. They also have fires to
put out and meetings to attend. But nothing gets in the way of
consistent prospecting. You don't have to like prospecting; you
just have to do it. If you learn to like prospecting, you will do
more of it.
2) Don’t look, act or sound like every other salesperson calling on
the prospect. Create a unique approach – Don't just say that you
are different. Put yourself in your prospect's place. Would you
take your phone call and be responsive? If not, work on your
strategy and script.
3) Successful prospectors understand that the purpose of a call is
to set an appointment with a qualified candidate. Stop seeing
anyone who will see you. Make sure the prospect qualifies to do
business with you. Stop selling on the phone.
4) The quality of the phone call determines the quality of the
appointment. Your goal is to identify on the phone if your prospect
has a problem that you can solve. Establish that they would like to
fix the problem. Even though the prospect identified a "problem" on
the phone, the identified problem isn't the real problem. Ask
questions about why the problem is a problem and how much the
problem is costing them.
5) "Drill down" past the pain or problem indicators (symptoms).
Here are a series of questions for you to use to get past the
initial symptoms that a prospect will give you:
Tell me …
How long has this been a problem?
What have you done…?
When you spoke with …?
What has your current provider done to make this problem go away?
What happens if you don’t fix…?
How much is it costing…?
Is that a problem?
Do you want to fix it?
But not today?
6) Finally, know that prospects want to meet professionals through
introductions, not cold calls, so always ask for introductions as
your first prospecting strategy.
7) Always track your activity and look for ways to exponentially
improve revenue by improving your techniques. You may be great at
getting that first meeting but not great at uncovering real
opportunities. If you track this, then you know this and you can
get better at this step.
moment you realize that prospecting is THE job for you as the Leader
of the company, you have taken your first step to the best year in
sales your company has ever had.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not lack
of strength, not lack of knowledge, but rather in lack of will.”
- Vince Lombardi
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