3 Ways to Make Certain That Your Business Prospecting Fails

May 31, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales, Sales Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As a New York based sales trainer I get to see the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to business prospecting. Yes, there are some things that can absolutely ensure that your business prospecting will yield no positive results so read on to find out if you are guilty of these all-too-common prospecting errors.

I tried ‘em once or twice and if they’re interested, they’ll get back to me.

Sure they will because they’re just sitting around and waiting for your call. Prospects are busy and even if they need, no want, what it is you have to offer, they still may not jump to it and return your call in record time. Persistence rules and if you leave compelling voice mail messages (short, to the point but with a benefits statement), pay attention to the time of your call and probe for “influencers” within the prospect’s firm that can potentially help your cause, you have a better chance of EVER making contact with your prospect. Making contact on your first or second try is luck and what is required is skill…and persistence.

I don’t need any sort of script; I know what I want to say and I can just wing it.

During the prospecting dance you have an incredibly short amount of time to win the attention and interest of your prospect. Your words need to be compelling and you can’t waste seconds with extraneous verbiage. You also need to have insightful probes and persuasive rebuttals in your bag of tricks and be armed and ready to use them when necessary. It’s best to have key phrases and questions and objection responses already prepared and at your disposal so that “brain freeze” does not put you off your game. Remember, a script is a road map that helps you to traverse the landscape of the call. It gets you from Point A to Point B in the most efficient and expedient manner. Why WOULDN’T you have one prepared? (Note: having a script or call guide does not mean that you must sound as if you are reading. All it means is that you must practice BEFORE diving into your calls!)

I don’t need to do any prospecting; I get all of my business through referrals.

That’s awesome. No really. It’s totally terrific to be able to count on consistent referrals to make your business grow. But there are a couple of potential problems. What if your referral sources dry up or change allegiances (i.e. their wife, husband, best friend etc. enter into your business category and now their referrals need to go to them; they get laid off or retire, etc. etc. You know—stuff happens). What if you become “needy” and must become more proactive and reach out to prospects but your prospecting skills have become totally soft from lack of use? What if you continue to get referrals but they just aren’t plentiful enough? The point is that it is critically important for everyone that is involved in sales to be able to generate their own leads and appointments through the use of effective business prospecting. Referrals rock but you need to be able to deploy effective telephone prospecting, value-added emails, direct mail and more if you really want to stay on top of your prospecting game.

So there ya have it. Of course there are more ways and reasons to ensure business development failure but we’ll stick with just these three for now. Do any of them sound / feel familiar? I hope not.

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