So you just got back from your summer vacation, and although you are relaxed and refreshed, you are having a tough time getting your sales Mojo going. This is especially true of one of the toughest activities in Selling: Prospecting.
An effective prospecting strategy is built over time and requires some day-to-day activities to maintain momentum. The best-of-the-best salespeople (I call them Rainmakers) have their days organized to allow for the development of new business relationships. They adhere to sound prospecting practices that have been tried and proven by top performers.
Here is what Rainmakers do to keep their pipeline full:
- They prepare for success. They strategically plan and understand their territory and segments and try and determine the best penetration strategy. They make planning a priority by strategically organizing whom they are going to call and what their initial conversation is going to look like.
- They prepare to make connections. They sit down with their laptop and open up all their productivity tools such as email templates, CRM, calendar, campaign lists, quoting software, web conferencing, sales intelligence, social media, email marketing, etc. All the tools are available when they are needed.
- They research real-time while dialing their prospect. They keep their eyes on their tools and prepare to have a relevant dialogue with their prospect. They pull up information about the prospect’s company and industry, review sales intelligence to understand the corporate hierarchy and look at the social tools to see if they have any mutual connections in common.
- When the prospect answers, they’re ready. They never waste a call because they understand that call-backs rarely occur. Rainmakers are ready to talk, and they have something intelligent and well-thought-out to say. They have already accessed the right information; now they translate this information into messages that engage and persuade.
- They integrate information into their conversation. Glancing at their prospects’ website to confirm details, checking LinkedIn to review their social information and connections, looking into their CRM to see if anyone else from their team has called in. They search, qualify, refresh, confirm, and integrate information so they can earn time as a trusted advisor and solutions provider. They then record any new information into their company CRM.
- They ask “high-value questions” to engage the prospect. Through well-planned and pre-written questions they begin a preliminary qualification process focused on building trust quickly. They identify the current business environment, business need, decision-making process, competition, timeframe, and budget to quickly determine whether this is a qualified opportunity that is ready to close or one that needs to be nurtured for the future.
- They employ listening skills to earn more time with the prospect. They pay attention to what people are saying and are always sensitive to alerts and triggers. They listen intently and take notes. They know how to uncover a potential need and expose it so that the urgency for a solution becomes greater. Their timing is synchronized, their listening is sharp, and they establish excellent rapport.
- Their calls lead toward briefings. They have their calendar open for scheduling a briefing but are ready to switch gears quickly to share documents, use online collaboration tools or web or video conference immediately.
Employ these strategies today and you will start to see an immediate improvement in your activity. And nothing gets your Mojo going like success!