I have had numerous discussions with sales professionals of all types and colors regarding the issues of prospecting tactics and strategies. It is without doubt that any sales strategy that does not include strengthening prospecting activities could well be a real gamble. Read this and get at it!
We all might have a little gambler in us, but do we all win? The simple answer to that is no! We don’t all win when we gamble. As a matter of fact, some gambling can be bad for your career.
The gambling I am talking about is that the short amount of prospecting time that you spend cold calling is going to yield acceptable dividends and benefits.
I am guessing that prospecting may not be your favorite activities, although you might even agree that it is your most prosperous. When you prospect extensively, every week is the spring season in terms of renewing hope. Rejections have less impact on your momentum as you are consistently touching fresh and ready prospects that seal the wounds.
A Different Way of Thinking
First of all, we all need to think of it this way:
- If you are cold calling once a week, you are gambling.
- If you are cold calling twice a week, you are still gambling.
- If you only take out the time to cold-call three times a week, you are still taking a heck of a chance.
I am going to suggest that you cold call/prospect 4 times a week to achieve success. Cold calling gives you your edge in sourcing prospects. It is an activity that gives you confidence when you have a good day, and keeps you grounded in the reality of this profession when you have a tough day. Keep in mind that I am not talking about prospecting the whole day; I am suggesting a minimum of 2-3 hours a day, and certainly more if you are new in the sales professional.
Cold calling creates real work in the form of follow-up, appointment setting, and the preparation that goes with it. Between those activities the training, networking, and even preparing for other forms of prospect sourcing you will have your hands full, but not be lacking for qualified prospects to make your sales goals.
The Black sales professional even has more reason to cold call as it will take more prospects to fill your sales funnel. Many of the prospects will fall out as a result of preferences and other problems in the process. Always have enough to work on and you always will be prepared
Cold Calling Creates Real Work
The best sales professionals are organized and systematic. You may be correct that cold calling and prospecting (whether phone or in-person) is tedious and monotonous at times, yet you will not be successful on a long term basis without it.
Cold calling creates real work. After you do it the most important thing is follow-up and organization. Recording the conversations, cataloging the buyer and the responses is a must. As a matter of fact, you can waste valuable cold calling effort if you forget important details. Record and be specific and you will benefit.
Now, many sales gurus and advisors prefer you to do prospect for five days a week, yet I am being realistic. If you do it right, and you do it with the gusto that you need to, you will deserve the 5th day off.
Always vary the cold calling times for your cold calling regimen, as you will potentially reach buyers that you were not able to reach at other times.
The Best Use Of Your Time – Alternatives
You are tired of hearing sales managers, and people like me tell you that you should prospect frequently. I certainly understand that, these comments and urgings have the smell of truth. Your choice is to increase your prospecting or gamble…but there are a couple of alternatives that I have spoken of in the past, and will spend some time with in some past posts:
- Networking for Success (Black Sales Journal 2/21/2011)
- Finding Prospects in Seminars (Black Sales Journal 3/24/2011)
Networking at a networking event produces contacts and prospects in volume. It may appear more like ‘speed-dating’, but it does have benefits. They are low cost, as you are only attending, and they are low-risk. You talk to as many prospects as you can, then make your exit.
Seminars are work, but can deliver results in amounts that are amazing. Putting people with like needs in a room and talking to them about an important or impending subject is powerful. Participants ask questions and your responses give you a chance to be the expert that your customer needs. Don’t miss that opportunity.
We will have more discussion on these subjects in upcoming posts. You can still have the variety that you need in sourcing prospects to keep you engaged. Never stop growing your prospect list.
Your comments are welcome. You can reach me at Michael.Parker@BlackSalesJournal.com.