This mini-series has featured episodes to help you be organized for success. To complete the series, I’d like to discuss how to leverage laziness....
The Truth About Prospecting
Here is the cold, hard truth about prospecting: it’s not easy; it’s not fun; and you are never going to like it! I’ve noticed a dangerous trend in the content of some businesses and entrepreneurs. They tend to emphasize finding your passion and pursuing it. That can be misconstrued as instruction to only do […]
Here is the cold, hard truth about prospecting: it’s not easy; it’s not fun; and you are never going to like it! I’ve noticed a dangerous trend in the content of some businesses and entrepreneurs. They tend to emphasize finding your passion and pursuing it. That can be misconstrued as instruction to only do things which are enjoyable and exciting. However, any successful person must be willing to perform daily tasks which are NOT enjoyable. In this episode I’ll discuss the necessary evil of prospecting in sales.
By searching online for “cold calling,” you might find a $1,000 program with the line “Never cold call again.” Or there might be one saying, “Here’s our automated system. You never have to cold call or prospect again.” The truth about such programs is they just don’t work! There is no short-cut or magic formula whereby you can escape prospecting. I have many social media channels, so people often ask, “James, isn’t there a way to do prospecting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?” Absolutely there is, but it’s not what you think.
Someone may have the mistaken idea that prospecting on social media involves posting three cool photos every day. WRONG! Prospecting is interrupting. To prospect on social media, find every business in your area and send them a direct message. Ask if they would be willing to meet. Or find some way to add value to them. Offer free advice or help. You might say, “Hey, I love your Facebook page. It’s great you are involved in social media. I’d like to come by and speak with you briefly. I’m right here in the local market. Seems like two people who are both involved in online marketing should get together.” Find a way to leverage the connection into a meeting.
Whatever you do or say on social media, you’re still interrupting people. I seldom suggest social media platforms for prospecting. It’s not as effective and profitable as walking into businesses or calling on the phone. No matter how you prospect, the truth is still obvious. It’s not easy, and you’re never going to like it. Even after many years in sales, I still don’t like prospecting. I enjoy the challenge and talking to prospects, but I hate prospecting. Everybody does! [If you don’t enjoy talking to people, you are probably not cut out for a sales career.]
Prospecting is the price which must be paid to make sales, so that one can make money. Almost every problem of sales people relates to prospecting. Sometimes sales people who can’t close deals sound desperate. This is because they don’t have a pipeline; they haven’t been doing any prospecting. Only two people they know of are interested, so they are desperate to sell both prospects. But a desperation pitch won’t work!
Continual prospecting is vital to a successful sales career. You must interrupt prospects’ normal day to give a message about your product or service. Thus, ask yourself this important question, “How many people have I interrupted today? How many did I interrupt yesterday?” The number of people you interrupt on a daily and weekly basis is going to determine your success in sales.
That, my friends, is the truth about prospecting! It’s not easy; it’s not fun; and you are never going to like it!
Read the previous article here: My Advice to a 20-Year-Old Starting Out in Merchant Services
Read the next article here: The Biggest Enemy of Prospecting