Sales Reps Dream About Prospecting, Sales Professionals Proactively Prospect! Which One Are You?Jan 19, 2020
"Proper prospecting prevents poverty"
Field of Dreams was a 1989 film, based upon an Iowa corn farmer who heard a voice telling him: "If you build it, they will come." He interpreted this as an instruction to build a baseball diamond within his cornfields; after he does, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other dead baseball players emerge from the cornfields to play ball.
You might be thinking, what the heck does this have to do with prospecting?
Ask any sales rep to share their strategic plan for developing business and listen for stone-cold silence. One can hear a pin drop on the carpet. I'm massively concerned that prospecting has become a lost art within the sales world.
"Stop looking for a needle in the sales haystack!"
Developing a business doesn't have to be a “field of dreams.” If you create the plan, work the plan, are consistent with the plan, and discipline the prospects will come.
Overpaid babysitters and order takers unfortunately run rampant as they moan and groan looking to be hand-fed prospects. A sales professional cultivates, fertilizes, and cares for their current clients while adding new clients to harvest within their field of dreams.
PROFESSIONALS PROACTIVELY PROSPECT
Unfortunately, many sales teams of today are still living and playing "sales ball" in a field of prospecting dreams based on times long ago.
"The way it used to be is not a recipe for sales success today"
"Sales is a numbers game.” If you see enough people and make enough presentations, then you'll close enough deals. How many times have you heard this? Come on people, how old school! That archetype was from decades ago. Sad to say, most companies, and management still believe, preach and teach this approach to sales reps.
A sales professional consistently works at, strengthens, and develops strong business communication skills in order to help them proactively prospect.
I believe we live in a business world where relationships matter.
It is hard to keep a consistent sales pipeline without a proactive method of prospecting. Furthermore, without a healthy relationship funnel how can you as a sales rep keep a consistent sales funnel?
Stop trying to sell first and then build the relationship.
I ask you to think about the following... Without building your “relationship capital” with your prospects and clients then how can you keep a consistent, well-flowing sales funnel?
CHANGE YOUR THINKING - CHANGE YOUR RESULTS
Start viewing prospecting as an art. The canvass is a human-to-human conversation. I get it, sales are a numbers game, yeah, yeah, yeah... then shift some of your number's logic to...
- How many new conversations are you opening up every week?
- How many new relationships are you opening up every week?
- How many new social connections are you adding to your network every week?
I encourage you to take ownership of your own sales funnel. I realize and understand you have a monthly quota, along with quarterly and year-end bonuses, however; without a healthy relationship funnel how can you maintain a healthy sales funnel?
"The more you know the more you grow."
What are you prospecting for? Are you dreaming about prospecting or doing something about it?
Relationship development leads to opportunity development which leads to sales development. Therefore, you must become diligent with developing your relationship funnel.
What are you doing to earn the right to have a conversation?
MANAGE THE FUNNELS
A favorite saying of mine is, "Sales reps are consistently inconsistent." Prospecting is part of the sales profession. I don't care what others may think! Prospecting is a non-negotiable daily activity but why does it become a negotiable activity for many?
When it comes to prospecting, I encourage all of you to take a mental snapshot of the number 8. The curves of the number 8 can correlate to relationships moving in, around, and out of the funnel as they move in, around, and out of the sales funnel.
Just as there is top of, middle of and bottom of the sales funnel; the same applies to the relationship funnel.
How you develop, nurture and build a healthy relationship funnel will play a significant part in the strength of your sales funnel.
"Sales reps must be consistent with their prospecting efforts or accept inconsistent sales results as a way of life."
PROSPECTING PASSION AND HUNGER
Sometimes a dream such as prospecting can feel so far away that it becomes a negative feeling. What dreams really embody is a passion and hunger for more, for difference, and for sales life. Dreams are what keeps you motivated, focused, and desperate for new opportunities.
Attention sales world... start pursuing the things that set your heart on fire, light you up and make you love your sales life. Let your passion and hunger guide you and steer you in the right direction to make your dreams real and a success.
Don't get caught in dreaming about prospecting, Become the sales professional who proactively puts their thoughts into motion.