Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Keys to Prospecting Success

By Summers Rogers

You know how hard it is to start that daily commitment to exercise. Well, proactive prospecting seems to be as difficult. We know it is something we must do to gain positive results yet most sales people will try to avoid prospecting like the plague.

The key word is commitment. Commit to setting an appointment with yourself for one or two hours each day. Start with utilizing your resources such as your sphere of influence. It is easy to say to ourselves, "Well, I have a lot to do today so I'll start prospecting tomorrow or next week". Prospecting not only requires commitment but discipline as well. You are important so make that daily appointment with yourself just as you would will any potentially important customer or client.

Have a specific message. Everyone needs to hear the latest news of markets conditions in your area. It's likely that they have some misinformation and you can become the expert to help them get a more accurate picture.

Sales have always been a "numbers" game. You want to touch as many people as possible. Defining your target market and being organized will help you obtain your goals.

I would highly suggest having a database of at least one month's supply of names. The time allocated for prospecting should not be wasted looking up names or deciding at that moment who you are going to talk to next. Be prepared and watch how much more productive you will become.

Work in a private and quiet area so there are no disruptions. Do not answer calls from other clients or colleagues. Believe me, they will wait an hour or two for you to call them back. Remember, this is your time and will put you on the path to success. Get in the habit of doing this daily or at least every other day. As time progresses and with each call, your expertise will increase. The more we practice anything, the better we become.

Consider prospecting during off peak hours when conventional prospecting times don't work. Some of your best work will be done between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM, between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM, and between 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM. Vary your call times. We are all creatures of habit. So are your prospects. In all likelihood, they are attending the same meeting each Monday at 10:00 AM (or whatever time you can't seem to connect with them). If you cannot get through at this time, call this particular person in your sphere of influence at other times during the day or on other days.

Don't stop. Persistence is one of the key virtues in selling success. Most sales/valuable contacts are made after the fifth call, and most sales people quit after the first.

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