In the previous episode I addressed the fear of phone call prospecting. There aren’t many tips for that one – just pick up the phone and dial!...
The Biggest Enemy of Prospecting
This might surprise you. The biggest enemy of prospecting is thinking. To build your merchant services portfolio you must learn the difference between prospecting and thinking. I’ll help you recognize and defeat the enemy in this episode. The key is to keep moving forward so the enemy can’t catch you! Every sales person understands […]
This might surprise you. The biggest enemy of prospecting is thinking. To build your merchant services portfolio you must learn the difference between prospecting and thinking. I’ll help you recognize and defeat the enemy in this episode. The key is to keep moving forward so the enemy can’t catch you!
Every sales person understands the value of a good pitch. Here is a frequent scenario in sales. A sales rep walks into a business or makes a phone call and gives the pitch. The prospect wasn’t receptive. So, the rep retreats to his/her car and sits thinking, “That pitch didn’t go very well. Let me write out a new pitch. Maybe I should call or email somebody for an opinion of my pitch. Or maybe I should go back to the office and give this pitch some serious thought, maybe even take the rest of the day to rethink it.” Those are all terrible, terrible ideas! That is thinking, not prospecting. Thinking is the biggest enemy of prospecting.
Now consider another example: A sales rep completes a visit, perhaps in a mini-mall. Then begins a conversation with himself. “Let’s see. Should I go to this business next? It looks like maybe a corporate location. That one looks like it could be a franchise. What about this one? Well, that one might be high risk. I don’t know if I should go to that one or not.” What is the rep doing – THINKING!
While that rep is thinking, I would’ve already out-sold him/her! I would’ve walked into all three of those businesses. The odds are that one of them would’ve been interested. And I probably could have sold that one. The biggest enemy of prospecting is thinking.
This “thinking pitfall” is especially troublesome when phone prospecting. The rep calls three or four people from a big list and looks on google maps for each one. Then he/she decides to look at the website and all the navigation links of each business. Before realizing, that rep is even reading their story on the local news station! If this describes you, you are totally wasting time. Prospecting is calling the next number and the next number and the next number… If you keep doing that, you will out-perform the one who is THINKING about the next number. Yes, you may make some mistakes or miss a few things. AFTER the two hours of prospecting are over, THEN is the time to think.
This is the proper way to execute prospecting. Take time to create your pitch. Decide what you should say. Write it down. Then decide to go prospecting for two hours. During that two hours, don’t think about your pitch or try to improve it. Just go from door to door to door and say the pitch over and over and over again. Prospecting is interrupting and focusing on the prospect, not thinking of anything else. Just turn your brain off, trust your instincts, and trust the pitch you already have.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you never think! But the key is to understand that the activity of thinking, trying to understand, is completely separate from prospecting. There SHOULD be time to ensure you’ve got things right, to ensure your pitch is good, and to ensure you have the right rebuttal for certain objections. You definitely need to think through those things carefully AT A SEPARATE TIME FROM PROSPECTING!
Take good notes while prospecting. After a prospecting visit, I put notes in my CRM. I’ll say, “Here is what happened on this visit.” But I’m not thinking about it. When the scheduled prospecting time is over, then I have scheduled a half hour or so to think through the interactions with prospects. To think while prospecting usually lends to a narrow viewpoint. The danger is basing your thoughts on one business owner’s objection. However, after two or three hours, you’ll see patterns emerge. You’ll realize no one other than your first prospect had that objection. So, the pitch actually works pretty well.
Don’t be fooled into thinking your pitch is not good when the first prospect kicks you out. Realize you aren’t even good at delivering the pitch yet; you’re just starting. Even the best pitch is only going to make two out of three people interested. No matter what you do, one out of every three, four, or five people is not going to be interested. Be sure you don’t base all your thinking on one prospect. After prospecting for a few hours, you’ll have a broader picture. Make pitch adjustments when you’ve heard the same objection several times. Your adjustments will be much better and use of time will be ten times better.
Remember, the biggest enemy of prospecting is thinking. Keep moving forward so the enemy can’t catch you. To build your merchant services portfolio you must learn the difference between prospecting and thinking. As I said in the previous episode: prospecting isn’t fun; it isn’t easy; and you are never going to like it. Just do it!
Read the previous article here: The Truth About Prospecting
Read the next article here: Fear of Phone Calls – Avoid this Prospecting Handicap