The benefits of prospecting to a salesperson. Wow! I never imagined having to write about this, thinking it was obvious, but alas! here we are. I’ve come to realize it is not obvious to many sellers. Four happenings last week informed this revelation. I was reminded by a reader that there are always new salespeople joining the profession; sales success contains the seeds of its destruction, and, three, that the inexperienced experienced could always do with a reminder. The fourth event, I’ll explain later. So, here we are. The benefits of prospecting to a salesperson. I’ll share three. But first, the definition or meaning of sales prospecting is the never ending search for suitable buyers of your product or service. So, here are three advantages of sales prospecting.
If you don’t prospect you die
“Everyone wants to go to heaven but no-one wants to die”. If ever there was a motivational quote for sales prospecting, this would be it, paraphrased. ‘Everyone wants to be busy closing but no-one wants to be busy prospecting.’ Prospecting is fittingly the first, and cornerstone step, in the sales cycle. With no one to sell to, no selling can happen, and the sales person dies a slow death. His appointments start shrinking, as his moments of idleness continue flourishing.
Consequently, from his sales funnel, his sales output starts reducing because he is not feeding the input. And because Idleness is the devil’s workshop, his attitude leads to toxicity and like the proverbial bad workman, he starts quarrelling with his tools. He complains about the weather, the coffee, the newbies, the airtime allowance, the emails, anything and everything but the real problem. Him. More accurately, his lack of prospects to constructively occupy his time. He doesn’t know it but he is professionally dying. Unchecked he will realise it when he is shown the door. Now you know why sales prospecting is important for a salesperson and why it is important to the sales process. Now let’s see why it important for most salespeople to spend at least some time prospecting.
Selling becomes easier
Fanatical sales prospecting leads to faster sales success. Besides allowing you to objectively measure sales performance, when you are fanatical about sales prospecting you are deliberate about it. When you are intentional about prospecting it is evident. Why? You have a methodology. An avid reader of this blog says they are required to spend 60% of their time prospecting. Another that sells heavy duty tires says he has a personal target of identifying at least 5 trucks every day that do not have his tyres. He then notes the owner’s name usually written on the door. Your SEO’d website complete with lead generation form (digital marketing) is a sales prospecting tool too. All, creative sales prospecting techniques right there.
Benefits of prospecting to a salesperson-B2B sales prospecting
A hotel client has a designated person (a sales development representative) whose sole job (with targets) is to identify new and upcoming businesses in their region. This is an example of sales prospecting in the B2B space. As you can see there are different types of sales prospecting. Still, such conscious, effective and purposeful sales prospecting methods lead to making selling easier because of two reasons. First, half your job is done when you get the right person to sell to. Last week, (and this is the fourth event I was to share) a friend that sells bid bonds shared how he has defined his prospects, so accurately, I was impressed. “They are contractors seeking tenders”.
Therefore, he prospects within EPRA (and such other contractors’ associations and bodies) and PPIP (Public Procurement Information Portal) where all tenders are listed live. Talk about targeted prospecting. He shows up on the opening dates of the tender because he knows the date and venue and pitches there. Technically speaking, he has NO suspects to sift through. Every one seeking a tender and any one in the associations can buy, and needs or will need a bid bond. Classic direct sales prospecting.
Admittedly not all products or services can become that crystal clear defined in regard to prospecting. Admittedly, though, almost all can grow into that. Best practices in sales prospecting adopt the rules of sales prospecting. That is, the more fanatical you are about prospecting, the easier it gets, as you get your own PPIP, metaphorically speaking. You get referrals from existing prospects and clients who themselves become your advocates selling for you. You became their go to guy. If ever there was a best sales prospecting techniques this would be it.
Unlock value with sales prospecting
Now then. A follow-up step after a sales presentation is prospecting. At least it should be. The purpose of a presentation, especially B2C, is to prospect, not to sell. This applies to an engaging exhibition too. You unlock full value when you follow-up with prospecting after a group presentation. The supposition that if they are wowed they’ll come of their volition is a myth of sales prospecting. They won’t. Passing a paper around for them to fill in their details immediately after, during, or, if possible, before the presentation is more effective.
Or, jotting down their details yourself if the audience is patient enough or if you have time for it. Projecting your name and number on the screen for them to send a text with their name is yet another modern sales prospecting method. Just as is asking someone (usually in HR or the department head or or the coordinator) to share a Google form via WhatsApp for them to complete an evaluation of your presentation and share their contacts. This method buys you more time as you can follow-up after the sales presentation.
Benefits of prospecting to a salesperson
So there you have it. No idle moment, make selling easier and unlock presentation value. Three benefits of prospecting to a salesperson, complete with the unending importance of sales prospecting with examples. So, what are you waiting for? ‘Get busy living, or get busy dying’.
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