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How To Prospect Like A Sales Pro

by Johnny Bravo · 16 comments

How To Prospect Like A Sales ProProspecting is the life blood of a sales persons job.

Without prospecting there are no prospects and no customers. There is an empty sales funnel. And eventually an empty sales position that needs filling by someone who likes prospecting.

LIKES PROSPECTING…is there such thing? Absolutely.

I love prospecting. I see prospecting as an investment in my sales career. I know that without prospecting I would never have become a sales pro.

And if you want to be a top sales pro yourself then you need to view prospecting a little different than everyone else. You need to understand that prospecting is a required part of a sales career.

As it is prospecting skills can be taught. But the ability to prospect is more a matter of attitude than skill set.

You can give all the scripts possible to a sales person to use while cold calling. But if they can’t take the rejection involved in prospecting then you are in trouble.

When hiring for a sales position look for someone who is a go-getter. Someone who enjoys prospecting. A positive attitude towards prospecting should be a major consideration.

So for those who already have the attitude and simply need a little direction on how to prospect, this post is for you. Below are some of my top considerations for how to prospect like a sales pro.

And if you want even more tips and tricks for prospecting be sure to sign up for The Sales Pro Blog Newsletter.

Calendar It In

I’m serious. Prospecting is just as important as your 10am client meeting. In fact it is what often precedes client meetings because all of your clients were once prospects.

You should set aside time for prospecting every single day. Whether that’s research, cold calling, networking, emailing, writing letters, asking for referrals, etc. your goal should be to prospect everyday.

There are two ways you can set aside caledneredtimeforprospecting.The first is to set aside a block of time. let’s say 8-9 in the morning and 12-1 in the afternoon.

The second option is to individually set aside time for each activity. For example you can set aside specific time for emailing or cold calling.

Consistency Is Key

Just like in sales training, consistency is key when it relates to prospecting.

When prospecting if you call once, leave a message and never call back. You are in trouble.

Prospecting is not about calling in and selling to the CEO right away. That’s nice but rarely ever happens. Just like you they are very busy. And yes they probably have more important things to do then meet with someone trying to sell them something.

Prospecting is about building a relationship. It’s about staying top of mind so that when the time is right to buy, they will contact you.This is why I believe developing a professional brand is so important.

What do you think will happen if you call Joe the CEO every week on Tuesday between 12-1pm? He is going to know who it is and expect your call.

He might not still take your call. And that’s ok. But you are establishing rapport with him believe it or not. You are telling him that you are serious about earning his business and you’re going to remain professionally persistent in reaching out to him.

Mix Things Up

A good way for your lead generation to be more effective is to mix things up. This relates to your prospecting methods of contact.

If you are only cold calling or emailing then you are missing out on making your prospecting more effective.

You should develop a cadence and test to see what works best. And know that you have a few options for prospect contact mediums e.g.

  1. Phone calls
  2. Emails
  3. Hand written letters
  4. Twitter
  5. Creative “gifts”

Don’t hold yourself to one method of prospecting. Be creative and try something different. Whats the worst that could happen? They call you back?

~ Johnny Bravo

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 8 comments }

Debra Yearwood April 16, 2013 at 9:46 am

I couldn’t agree more with these recommendations. The sales people who earn my business are the ones I get to know. I’ve had folks send emails, pop in to say hello or make a call for a year before I used there services. They weren’t pushy, I didn’t feel stalked, but they were quietly persistent and I did remember them. They made me laugh or we simply had a pleasant exchange, but when it came time for me to make a purchase, I didn’t hesitate, I went straight to the person I knew.

Johnny Bravo April 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm

As a sales person that makes me happy to hear Debra. Not everyone is ready to buy right away. But being professionally persistent is how to prospect like a real sales professional.

Leora Wenger April 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I read backwards – read some other of your posts on prospecting, then I read this one.

“Prospecting is about building a relationship. ” – OK, now I can relate.

I like your list – a good starting point.

Johnny Bravo April 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Thanks Leora! Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Slagel April 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

I really like the question you pose at the end. I think there are people that are afraid of prospecting and it is mainly because they don’t want to put themselves out there but what they don’t realize is that they are able to hide behind a phone call, an email, a letter. They don’t realize that until they get that sale, they are only a voice on the phone so they shouldn’t be afraid of somebody saying no.

Johnny Bravo April 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Absolutely right Mary. Fear is paralyzing and can damage the effectiveness of a sales persons prospecting efforts.

Kelly Wade April 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Really interesting. I don’t know much about sales initiative or effectiveness in sales, but it makes sense to spread your efforts across a variety of mediums to try to reach a number of different people who use various outlets to get information.

Johnny Bravo April 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

It sure does Kelly. Thanks for commenting.

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