Of all the sales people I have ever known, the most successful have all their new business leads fall directly into their laps. The consumer calls or emails the sales rep and says, “Hi, John! I heard you have a fantastic new solution that does ______ (fill in the blank) and I’d like to purchase it today.”
Yea…. right! If that were true, everyone would work in sales and be making bank. Honestly, this scenario couldn’t be further from the truth. Once in a while a sales person might have this experience, but I’m certain that is the exception, not the rule.
A life in sales can be a great one, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges - including effective prospecting. For most sales people this is where “the rubber meets the road” and their success or failure is determined. Here are a few tips to set yourself up for success:
Commit Yourself to the Process: Prospecting is likely one of the most challenging areas of sales - and definitely the least glamorous. Fully investing yourself in the process and allocating time for continuous effective prospecting is guaranteed to pay dividends on your efforts. Make this process one of your first tasks of each day. Once completed, everything else will be so much easier.
Focus on Finding the Right Prospects: Understand of the needs of your top customers and then target prospects with similar objectives. Understand the most effective ways to talk with them. Clearly articulate the value you have to offer. Remember that if no value is perceived, no progress will be made. The first step is to get them to engage in conversation with you. Once you’ve crossed this hurdle, likely the largest one in the process, you can build a plan for success.
Own Your Market: You know what you have to offer, but do you know what your competition is offering? How do they compare? Have there been recent changes in the market that you can use to help drive new business? Do you know who the best prospects are in your market? How often are you reaching out to them? If you aren’t reaching out, I can almost guarantee that your competition is. Who do you think will be the most likely to win their business?
Expect Attrition: Times change. Organizations change. People Change. One thing that doesn’t change is that complacency will destroy you. Make sure you have a plan to continuously fill the pipeline to insulate yourself from any lost business.
Don’t Stop: Take a look at #4 above. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some. If you aren’t continuously adapting to consumer and market changes you’ll soon be losing more than you are winning. That’s not the place where a sales person succeeds. Focus on filling your funnel. Schedule time for daily prospecting and you will be building a solid plan for success.
What are some of the best tactics and resources that you’ve implemented in your prospecting efforts? PremiumView, Newmarket’s Meeting Intelligence solution, is a great resource to help you get an understanding your market. Identify who is already meeting in your market and build a plan to win their business the next time they are in the area. Adding this extensive market research into your prospecting efforts is sure to help build your sales pipeline.