Sales Prospecting Secret #2
When most people get their first (genuine) sales prospecting role, their manager essentially shows them a map of the universe and then tells them to go somewhere “in there” and find new customers.
To be fair, the sales person will usually take a good run at it – but very quickly starts to feel overwhelmed by the challenge – mixed with a sense of disappointment and guilt for not being good enough – and the terrifying, immobilising fear of losing their job.
There are 7 specific exercises that I work through during my effective sales prospecting masterclasses which not only ensure that those who attend have the tools to hit the ground running – but also to make sure they know exactly who they should be running to – and we’re going to go over one of those exercises today.
So, here’s a question;
Why are your sales team spending so little time where they are celebrated – and so much time where they (at best) tolerated?
Whenever I write that down in an article – and sometimes when I present it at a keynote – it brings out incredibly strong / emotional reactions in certain people.
But before I go on, let’s be straight about my definition of prospecting;
Prospecting is all about finding the right spot in the river to sift through sand and dirt in the heat and the rain, until you find gold nuggets in the bottom of your prospecting pan.
When you find those nuggets, you then use your sales and negotiation skills to swap them for money in town – but it’s important to recognise that sales and negotiation is a different skill set to prospecting!
Prospecting involves immense levels of preparation mixed with sweat and patience – but the sweat and patience required will always be minimised with the right levels of preparation.
As promised, here’s another simple exercise to help your team get closer to understanding where they should be wading in the river in just under ten minutes.
(You’ll get a clearer picture if you mix these answers with this from exercise #1)
Once again, if you manage a team and would like them to run through this exercise at a sales meeting, it might be best to ask yourself the questions first before you pose them to your team – just to make sure you have your version of the answers and so you can help any who get a bit stuck.
Quick Exercise to Focus Your Prospecting Efforts
1. Who is your favourite customer? Which customer gives you the easiest, free flowing stream of business in your current account base?
2. Using the answers from Q1 create that customers profile – and include why you like working with them.
Where are the based? How many people do they employ? What’s the job title of your main contact? How many offices do they have? Are they international or local?
Build as clear a picture as you can about who and what they are. together with why you like them so much.
3. Look through your current prospect data base – who closely matches the criteria you’ve just written down?
4. Now go to LinkedIn – click on “My Network” in the menu bar at the top – put your perfect customer job title in the search box (click “in people” from the choices) – choose “1st & 2nd Connections” from the connections tab – choose your desired location from the location tab – then click on “All Filters” and choose the industry you wish to focus on.
Note: You do not need LI Premium or Sales Navigator to do any of this
You should now have a list of people who you can once again filter to match your perfect customer avatar.
That simple exercise should shake up a few, new – “just right “- Prospects.
I would also recommend you point your team to this article and short vid, for a few more ideas of how to sift through to the hidden gold nuggets;
So, let’s assume for the sake of conversation, that your team know or have worked out what they need to achieve to hit your target and exactly who they need to be calling on to make their job as easy as possible.
Tomorrow, I’m going to share a couple of insights into 21st Century customer attraction – an idea that completely changed the way that I viewed sales prospecting – and recently helped a client of mine close a £2million deal in under 8 weeks.
To your success
PS: If you missed any of this mini course so far – you can find it at the link below;
(click on preferred city for full details)