Sound Sales: Secrets of Successful Prospecting and Cold Calling
Most well-seasoned sales managers understand that salespeople can often be broken down into one of two categories – either they are a hunter or they are a farmer.
Farmers are sales professionals who are both skilled at and comfortable with working an existing customer base, servicing that customer base and developing new business from old or current customers. They are relationship managers and work as ambassadors to bridge their company with the client’s company. The value a farmer provides for their employer is account management more often than generating new revenue. For many years, farmers have been commonplace in the sales world. However, little by little they are heading towards extinction. Many corporations realize the most important value a sales professional can bring is to find and develop new accounts.
Hunters are sales professionals with both the skills and the fortitude to prospect for new business and new accounts. Hunting jobs can usually be found in abundance since demand is much greater than supply. Hunters are not necessarily smarter, more knowledgeable or more skillful than farmers. However, the one advantage hunters have over farmers is their ability and willingness to prospect for new business, which is HUGE!
Secret # 1: Role Separation
Who you are and what you do for a living are two separate components in your life. You must be extremely conscious of this fact when you prospect. Prospecting is generally 90% failure and 10% success. To accept the failure, you must constantly tell yourself, “The prospect is not rejecting me. They are rejecting my role or my company, but not me. And, I’m okay with that.” Be emotionally detached when you prospect. Have a mindset that you are in the third person. You are not asking for yourself, you are asking for a third party – your role or your company.
Secret # 2: A Good 30-Second Commercial
Every salesperson should have a good 30-second commercial to be used mainly via the telephone in order to set an appointment with an unknown prospect. However, you don’t want to sound like a stereotypical salesperson in your commercial. The 30-second commercial must be ‘canned’ – but it shouldn’t sound canned. You could give the commercial in your sleep and you can do the commercial even when you aren’t at the top of your game. Since it is canned and very repetitious from one call to the next, it will provide you with great role separation and emotional detachment.
Secret # 3: The Clock Is Ticking
You can never recover time you have lost. If you don’t prospect today, you will never know what future dollars you have passed up. Today is the day, and right now is the moment, that if you were prospecting you could have set an appointment that led to the biggest sale or deal you have ever done.
Pick the same time and same place every day for prospecting. Good hunters realize prospecting is a habit. Either you are in the habit of doing it daily ... or you’re not. Sales professionals who try to do their weekly prospecting all in one day rarely succeed because this does not work.
To prospect consistently, you must do it daily, and you should plan to do it at the same time and the same place every day. Arrange your schedule and set your appointments around prospecting – not vice versa. When prospecting, your energy should be high and your emotions need to be low. To make it a successful habit, you need focus. You cannot be easily distracted, which means when you’re prospecting, nothing else is happening in your world:
- You don’t accept incoming phone calls during this time.
- You aren’t constantly refreshing your coffee.
- You don’t engage in office conversation with other people.
Secret # 4: Goal Setting.
When you prospect and cold call, your goals must be activity driven and time driven – not results driven. The law of averages will work out over infinity but it will not necessarily work out on a daily basis. In one day, dialing the phone ten times could result in ten future appointments or sales calls. In one week, dialing the phone fifty times could result in zero appointments or sales calls. You have to trust your compass and the law of averages/infinity. The wrong thing to do is set a goal for the number of appointments you want to set. The right thing is to have a goal of how long you will spend prospecting each day or how many dials you will make.
Keywords: Sales Prospecting, Sales Cold Calling, Prospecting Goal Setting, Cold Calls, Sales Tips, Sales Professional Development, Sales Leadership Development, Sales Management Tips, Sound Sales, Sales Consulting, Compass Group Solutions, Mark McGlinchey
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