9 Prospecting Tips For The Black Sales Professional

Man Prospecting

The Telephone is an Asset

For this post I could not have picked a more important topic. Unfortunately there are many of you out there who have a strong belief that there is nothing less desirable than a morning or afternoon of prospecting.

Prospecting – Can’t Do Without It!

There are many aspects of cold calling and prospecting that drive Black sales professionals nuts, especially if you are cold calling in person.  This is already a lonely task, especially if you are faced with any aspects of racial preference or racial discrimination.

In the long term, there is no substitute for prospecting.  Networking is productive, and we will  talk about the benefits of networking and its uses in a future post, yet prospecting is a necessity.

Prospecting is a numbers game.  You have heard it, and realize it is true.  Know your numbers.  Know how many calls you make and how many result in an appointment.  Fine tune your approaches for more success.

Note the following:

  • Prospecting, over time, is the only way you are going to succeed in sales.  Without this sourcing of new potential customers, you will not have a chance to show your talents
  • Whether you are a long-term sales professional or fledgling, your devotion to sourcing new prospects is important
  • Even if you closed two sales this morning, there is no better time to prospect because of the new energy you generated

There is no doubt that prospecting is a requirement of the majority of sales jobs.  I want to throw out some tips that might help with this truly necessary evil.

A Few Tips for Success

Here are a few tips that I would like to share regarding telephone and in-person prospecting:

  • Master the Telephone - The telephone is your ultimate tool as a Black sales professional.   You probably already know this.  Master its uses and advantages.
  • Practice, Practice - Work on your telephone introduction/presentation.  Use a ‘dead’ phone line to work on it over and over.  Try it with a friend or confidant.  If you have a mentor, express your desire to work on it with them.
  • Create Interest - You must create interest, anticipation, and curiosity.  You need to be able to draw someone into this meeting and dialog.
  • Make Realistic Claims - As you do your sales points, make realistic claims.  You may need to prove them one day.
  • Be Confident - Find your comfort.  Sound confident, informed, and race neutral. Be personable and not mechanical.
  • Be Concise - Know your sales points.  It is in essence your elevator speech.  Be able to say why someone should work with you and your organization in 15 seconds or less.
  • Know the End Game - The end game of all prospecting is to get in front of the buyer.  Always remember this.  You want an appointment!
  • Have Knowledge - Know what your organization can do for a particular industry even if you don’t know the client’s needs.  Be prepared to talk about it.
  • Name Dropping - Be prudent about dropping names, but do so when it makes sense.  Remember, some buyers do not want any information shared with their competitors.  Just know the landscape.

One point that I don’t need to tell you about is that as a Black sales professional in B2B you should avoid putting your picture on your business card.  It is not required, and most employers would give you a choice anyway.  Why create situations that can lead to preference or prejudice?

More Prospecting Discussion to Come

We will be covering some important prospecting activities later in February and in March.  Items such as:

  • Getting past the gatekeeper
  • Understanding Your Sales Metrics
  • Selling A Commodity? How to Build Value!
  • Networking Your Way to Prospects

Make sure you check them out.  Your comments would be appreciated.

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