You will never meet a salesperson who failed because they had too many prospects to talk to.
For the majority of salespeople, finding new customers is without a doubt the most difficult and stressful aspect of the profession.
Prospecting should be viewed more as a mindset rather than merely as an activity. It is something you need to be constantly aware of because you never know where your next prospect will be coming from.
It really doesn’t matter how competent you are or how well you know your product line; if you don’t have a qualified prospect in front of you, you don’t have a sale.
1. Prospecting for new business is similar to working out. You know it is good for you and it will produce positive results if you do it routinely.
Professional salespeople prospect daily. It is important to block-off specific time on your calendar for prospecting activities such as phone-calling and emailing.
2. Be prepared, get organised and take good notes.
It is critical to have a computerised contact system to record remarks and future contacts or appointments.
3. Use a script – don’t shoot from the hip.
There is only one thing worse than listening to a salesperson read a script over the phone and that is to listen to a salesperson without a script.
Obviously it is important to not only have a script but to practice it until it sounds smooth and natural. Set aside time to role-play with an associate over the phone. By taking turns presenting and critiquing, you will gain confidence, polish your script and be more effective. When prospecting, avoid the temptation to sell over the phone. Your objective is to gather information and make the appointment.
4. Strike while the iron is hot!
When working with a new prospect, it is important to make contact quickly. Prospects are perishable. No matter how interested a prospect may appear, don’t wait for them to call you. You are only one of many competing interests for your prospect’s time and money.
5. Keep the high ground and avoid the temptation to badmouth your competition.
While it is fair to make head-to-head comparisons, you should avoid personal attacks. Attacking your competition makes you look unprofessional and petty. Emphasize the benefits of your product or service by guiding your prospect through a comparison of quality and price. Play to your strengths and not the weakness of your competition.
6. Rejections are a natural aspect of the sales process, so don’t take it personally.
Learn from rejection, use it as a feedback mechanism and look for ways to improve your presentation. Salespeople who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the sale.
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