You don’t just think about prospecting. Prospecting is something you do, and you do it daily.
1.The number of deals you have to close directly reflects the amount of time you spend prospecting. The prospects you close with next month and next quarter are the people you prospect with right now.
2. Don’t start what you can’t finish. A single phone call will never be enough. You have to be prepared to reach back out to the prospect numerous times over a period of days, weeks, or even months before you have a meaningful conversation.
3. Focus on the outcome that you provide rather than on what you sell. You do what you do because you can help others. The benefits that you offer and the outcomes that you deliver are what matter most.
4. Always have a dedicated time to prospect each day and each week. If you think that you will just get to prospecting once you have everything else done, you’re wrong. There will always be demands on your time. You must schedule prospecting in your calendar just like you schedule any other appointment or meeting. It needs to be part of your routine. Prospecting is no different than showering; it’s best done daily.
5. Prospecting is about interrupting people. They will never know how much you can help them until you first reach out. Accept the fact that you are an interruption; the only way that you wouldn’t be is if they were already your customer.
6. When you hear the prospect say, “just send me some information,” realise that they are simply saying that to get rid of you. It’s a phrase to easily end the conversation. New salespeople get excited when they hear a prospect ask for more information. Don’t fall for this request before first asking them questions to uncover more of their needs.
7. Prospecting is not networking. There’s nothing wrong with networking, but it is not prospecting. Networking is about creating relationships over time and these can turn into prospecting situations, but always view networking as having a long-tail that takes time.
8. Using lines such as “just checking in”or “how’s your day going?” are a waste. It’s your job to bring new value each time you reach out to them. When the other person hears these kinds of phrases/questions, it can show them that you don’t know what to ask for and you don’t have anything new to say. Simply put, it indicates that you are wasting the prospect’s time.
9. Never think that you can rely on a single form of communication. Always use every communication method available. The person who thinks they can rely solely on email, LinkedIn or anything else as their sole method of prospecting is downright lazy. You can take this to the bank: lazy prospectors quickly turn into skint prospectors.
10. Don’t expect your calls or emails to be returned. You can’t send one message and think that your work is done. There’s a reason why companies such as Coca-Cola spend so much on advertising- because they know they need to. Certainly, your name and your company isn’t as well-known as Coca-Cola, so if they feel like they need numerous messages to create sales, you do too.
So, there’s the 10 rules you need to follow in prospecting. Spend 10 minutes thinking through each item on this list. What do you need to change? What do you need to do more of? Prospecting is the start of sales: when we prospect well, we will close well.