Prospecting Techniques for Success

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Prospecting techniques are critical to sales success unless you or the company you work for has a website that shows up in the first three line items on Google for every possible keyword related to your product and services or if the company you work is gracious enough to have designated prospectors, you will be faced with the daunting task of finding clients on your own.

Many salespeople are destined to mediocrity because of prospecting.  These salespeople may have great sales presentation and even great closing skills, but the truth of the matter is that if they don’t have anyone to sell to, the other skills won’t matter. The funny thing about prospecting is that the more you do today, the less you will have to do tomorrow, assuming of course that you have at least an average set of sales skills. This is when you have climbed the prospecting hill and begin enjoying the benefits of the downhill slope of referrals. We will discuss referrals in a later blog. In the meantime here are some tips top salespeople use to climb Mount Prospect.

Work in Close Proximity

Your job is to see as many prospects in a day as you possibly can. By planning your prospecting activities to a location that requires little travel, you will increase the amount of prospects available to you in a day, therefore ultimately increasing your sales. If at all possible try to schedule extra time around your sales calls and build a list of potential prospects in that area. This way you can maximize the day. It also helps when you can go to a prospect and tell them, “I was just next door at Company ABC and as I walked by your business I realized you might be able to enjoy the same benefits as them. If I could please have a few minutes with the person who makes those decisions, I would just like to ask a few questions to see if they can see the same value for their business as Company ABC?” The fact that you were “just next door”,  coupled with the fact that people like to keep up with the Jones makes it easier to get to the next step with them.

Make it Clear You are Not Selling Anything Today

When prospecting, your only objective is to get an appointment with them for a date in the near future. By making this clear upfront the prospect is more likely to drop their defenses and relax a little bit. Let them know that you just want to gather some information about their company and their current situation related to your product and service and that you will come back to them at a later date to verify your finding and to see if what you are proposing makes sense to them. By using the words “see if it makes sense to you.”  You are keeping the defenses down and you allow the prospect to feel in control and that they won’t be sold, that they can make up their own mind.

Have a Well Scripted Prospecting Presentation.

Just as you wouldn’t leave your sales presentation to chance, neither should you leave your prospecting presentation to chance. It is important that you not only build intrigue, but that you also are able to smoothly handle the objections to get you the next appointment. One of the things I like to do for my scripting, is to put them together in a flowchart format. There are a few reasons for this. One reason is that it is easier to rehearse. Another main reason is that when it is time to train a successor, the flowcharts make it very easy to teach a proven method.

The only two things the prospect really wants to know

The only thing your prospect cares about is what is in it for them and how do they know your product or service will provide this benefit. Remember, your prospect is busy. Be clear and specific as to why you are there, how you can back it up, a few questions to build arousal and a firm commitment to the next appointment. Although your prospect may try to coax you into going into you full presentation at that moment there are two conditions that have to be met before you agree.

  1. You are fully prepared to give the presentation.
  2. There are no time constraints for either of you.

If these conditions are not met, DO NOT PROCEED! The odds of you making the sale on limited time or preparation are slim and none. If the prospect pushes for it just gently remind them that you hadn’t scheduled them for that day and if you took the extra time you would be late for a previously scheduled meeting.

Joe Woodmansee is CEO of NuQuest Consulting LLC. Joe is available for sales consulting, coaching and training. To learn more about NuQuest Consulting and sales training click here. http://nuquestconsulting.com/sales-consulting/  or visit nuquestconsulting.com.

2 comments on “Prospecting Techniques for Success

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