by Jacques Werth
The fastest way to find the sales position you want is to use methods that are different from what others are doing. Sales managers want salespeople who are smart and confident enough to apply their prospecting and selling skills to find a sales position.
If you were trained in High Probability Prospecting, then here is an outline of how you might use it to find the position you want:
- Do a search on the Internet or with a list broker and make a list of all of the companies that look attractive to you and that you believe employ people with your skill set. Be sure to get the names of their sales executives. Make it a big list – at least 300 sales managers. Be sure that your list is sorted by job titles and has phone numbers. Many community libraries have access to list brokers and can provide you with free lists. Ask the research librarian.
- Design a clear and very concise Prospecting Offer that is intended simply to find someone who wants to hire someone like you. Here is an example.
- Call all the sales managers of the companies on your list. If you don’t have their direct-dial numbers, it’s easy to get connected to someone in the sales department who will look it up for you. It works to tell them, “I need your help.”
- Present your prospecting offer. If the manager says he/she does not need anyone, you say “Are there any other sales managers in your company who do?” If not, you say “okay, good bye.” Do not try to sell your way into an appointment.
- Do not accept the first offer you get unless it’s the best position you could hope for. The people who use this system usually get from two to four offers within a month. Thus, it is generally better to ask for a couple of weeks to think it over.
- You will probably reach between 10% and 15% of the sales managers you call. Just keep dialing. The average person who uses this system can do about 60 calls per hour. Once you have it down to a routine, dialing 200 numbers per day and reaching 20 to 30 sales managers is pretty easy. The biggest mistake you can make is to spend your time talking with someone who did not say “yes” to your prospecting offer.
- You can reach most of your list within 2 or 3 weeks. Then, start to call all of them again. You are likely to get at least as many positive replies during your second round of calls as you did on the first. When you finish the list a second time, start over again. Just keep going. It works best if you change your offers so that each prospect hears at least 3 different offers before you begin to repeat yourself.
Prospecting Tip: Many sales managers are in their offices on Saturday mornings without their gatekeepers.
Remember, if you are willing to take “No” for an answer each time you call, you will find more “Yes” answers sooner.