Tips for Successful Prospecting
- Motivate yourself! Review your personal goals. How much personal income do you want, how many sales prospecting calls will be required to attain that goal, how much will effective sales prospecting techniques help you succeed?
- Expand your contacts. Develop or acquire an effective list of contacts in your target markets. Remember, sales prospecting techniques can also be used to gain additional business within current client accounts and their various locations and divisions.
- Prepare for your initial prospecting call. Have you done research on the prospect prior to the call? If so, prepare an effective call opening. As you may already know from our telephone selling workshop, calling to follow-up on information sent or to speak directly with a high-level decision maker are approaches that have the lowest hit rates! Remember, using common prospecting techniques is often a dead giveaway that you’re a salesperson, thus lowering the likelihood of success.
- Qualify quickly. We regularly observe salespeople making multiple call attempts only to find, out after they have a conversation with a prospect, that the firm isn’t qualified. This is a huge time waster! Our field tests of several of our unpublished prospecting techniques indicate that a prospect can be qualified on the first call 60% – 80% of the time.
- Prepare responses to common objections. Everyone gets objections on prospecting calls like, “you caught me at a bad time” or “can you send me information?” Since we all know what objections we are likely to get, why not prepare a list of the most effective responses? Remember, mishandling objections is the quickest way to lose sales opportunities.
- Have a “Power Hour” each day. Set up a specific time for sales prospecting where you are focused only on making outbound calls. Be sure to hold all incoming calls (or have others handle them) and other activities that detract from your focused prospecting.
- Track your statistics. Keeping track of qualified prospects you obtain on the first call, call openings used vs. appointments and your close rates for each category of prospects are key data points that help identify opportunities for improvement. If you only reach 10% of the decision makers you call, how can you improve that ratio? If only 20% of decision makers grant you an appointment, how can you obtain more appointments?
To become a sales prospecting guru, consider taking our Phone Skills Training course. And best wishes for success!
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