by Jacques Werth
President, High Probability Selling
Prospecting effectively is often the key difference between success and failure in sales.
“Get me in front of them, and I can do the rest” is a commonly heard phrase from many salespeople, and prospecting is often seen as the most challenging part of the sales process.
The ability to prospect efficiently, effectively and enjoyably will enable you to meet with prospects that need, want and can afford your products and services – now. When you meet with those kinds of prospects, your confidence will soar, and empower you to earn a consistently superior income. Here’s how to find them:
9 Tips for Prospecting Success:
1. Start with a highly targeted prospecting list, consisting of people or companies that are most likely to buy your type of products and services. Use a highly reputable list broker to find such a list. The cost should be no more than 25¢ per name. Start with a list of no more than 500 names. If you have a sufficient book of business already, you can also call your existing customers as if they are new prospects.
2. Call every name on your list every 3-4 weeks. Understand that only a small percentage of your list will be ready to buy the first time that you call. More will be ready each successive time that you call. Most prospects will not want to meet with you until you have presented prospecting offers at least three times.
3. Present a “prospecting offer” of no more than 45 words that clearly states who you are, what you are selling, and two features of your product or service. Finish up with “Is that what you want?” Change the two features of your offer each subsequent time you contact your list. That will prevent most prospects from getting annoyed. It will also eliminate most of the rejection that is caused by traditional cold calling.
4. Differentiate yourself by taking “no” for an answer. If the prospect says “No” or “I’m not interested,” you say “Okay, good bye.” Do not press for an appointment. Do not try to engage the prospect in a conversation or ask any further questions or build a relationship. Differentiate yourself…be the salesperson that respects what prospects say…even if it’s “no”. Let that build the relationship.
5. Schedule your prospecting sessions for 3½ hours. Take a fifteen-minute break between each hour. Don’t mix your prospecting time in with other tasks.
6. Record yourself. Use a recorder with an open microphone to record your side of each call. Play it back and listen to how you sound (from the perspective of you as a prospect). The goal is to hear yourself using usual conversational tones. Do not try to sound like a professional salesperson. Do not try to come across as overly enthusiastic, unusually friendly or enticing. Just relax and present your offer without persuasion.
7. Always be in a “Disqualification” mode. Be determined to spend your selling time only with High Probability Prospects. Disqualify low probability prospects quickly and courteously. Don’t allow desperation or anxiousness to deter you from that mission.
8. Accept the fact that prospecting really is a “numbers game”. The most important numbers are your Dials Per Hour and the ratio of prospecting Offers to Dials.
9. Keep accurate statistics of your prospecting sessions. We have trained thousands of salespeople to be successful prospectors. The most successful of those keep very accurate statistics. The act of keeping statistics will cause your subconscious mind to constantly improve your results. Our “High Probability Prospecting Activity Record” form may help you do this. You can download it here: prospecting-activity-record-2009-06-22
Effective telephone prospecting is one of the most productive ways to build up your sales volume, with very little up-front expense and a minimum of marketing expertise.
Start with telephone prospecting, and eventually you will get so many referrals from your existing customers that you will need to an assistant to prospect for you.
Until Next Time…Sell Well
Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling