10 Best Practices for Prospecting

 Prospecting can be tough. 

We can do hard things. Let me give you 10 best practices that if you put them into play, I guarantee it will up your game. 

Your one-stop-shop for training in every area of sales–including prospecting– is The Sales Hunter University. Click here to find out why we were named a Top Online Sales Training two years in a row.

1. Schedule regular time. 

You’re never going to be successful prospecting unless you schedule–and honor–regular prospecting time. Qualified customers don’t just fall into our laps. 

Too many times, people wish they could be better at prospecting, but they’re not willing to put the time in to do it. 

We make the time for the things that are important to us. Is making your number (or success way beyond that) important to you? Then make the time to prospect. 

Learn these 5 Ways to Create More Time for Selling

2. Measure CFT. 

CFT is customer facing time. CFT is all about how much time you’re spending in front of your customer? 

This is not thinking about a customer, nor is it preparing to prospect. This is actually being on the phone, actively exchanging emails, or perhaps on a Zoom call.

You want to measure CFT over a period of time, because you want to be increasing that level. You’ll never be able to close what you don’t start. And you’re not going to have anything to close unless you’re having conversations with customers. Measuring CFT is just a great way to keep track of that. 

3. Focus on incremental opportunities. 

Key word is incremental. It’s so easy to focus on repeat business, or business that’s just flowing in. That’s customer service. That’s not prospecting.

Prospecting is about creating incremental opportunities. That means you’re uncovering new customers. Or, you’re uncovering new ways that you can help an existing customer. For example, maybe it’s an existing customer, but you’re working with a new division. 

4. Follow-up gets the sale. 

Nothing about prospecting is one and done. Prospecting is about staying engaged to allow you to qualify the prospect to then move them into that sales stage.

Follow-up gets the sale, and that means a lot of repetition.

Is your sales strategy recession-proof? Learn from Mark and Dr. Mary C. Kelly in this episode of The Sales Hunter Podcast. 

5. Focus on your ICP. 

ICP, ideal customer profile. Prospecting anybody and everybody just because they download an ebook or they look at something isn’t the right path. 

This means you’ve got to have gates. You’ve got to have a measuring process to be able to understand, do they fit my ideal customer profile? And if they don’t, I don’t have time for them.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of your ideal prospect. Take my Ideal Customer Profile Masterclass available now at The Sales Hunter University. 

6. Use every medium. 

It’s not just using email. Who cares about another email? Am I using voicemail? Am I using video? What about social media? Have you tried using text? 

Of course, not every medium is right for every person, but you have to be comfortable and prepared to use every one, because at the end of the day, it’s not what’s comfortable to you. It’s what’s relevant and appropriate for the other person–especially after we break through, have that initial conversation and we’re in the follow up.

You’ve got to be communicating to them in their language, their medium.

7. Qualify fast. 

Your goal is to spend more time with fewer prospects. 

I need to be prepared to ask tough questions right out of the shoot.

“Well, I don’t want to ask tough questions because I may disqualify them too soon.” 

Well, what’s the problem with disqualifying too soon if you’re never going to get them to the close? I am going to work to see if there’s a viable option here, but I’m not going to just chase this forever and ever just because they respond to my message. That’s how you plug up your pipeline. You don’t want a sewer pipe, your sales pipeline should be a water tap.

8. Don’t start what you can’t finish. 

Sometimes, salespeople get desperate. So they load a hundred leads into their CRM system. You can’t manage a hundred leads. Instead, you have to stay extremely tight because it may take you 10, 15, 20 calls to get back in touch with them. It may take you 10, 20 calls and calling six different people in that company just to get one to respond to you. 

I need to have room in there to be able to do the repetitive activities all the way through. 

I’m working with this salesperson right now who only puts five new prospects into his pipeline a day. That’s it. But then he works them through using a 30-day cadence. For his particular product and buying cycle, that works. You may have a 90 day buying cycle. You may have a six month buying cycle. But don’t start what you can finish.

9. Measure your activity

Prospecting is not about the results you get. Whoa, what? 

It’s true. Prospecting is not about the results you get. That’s just closing the sale. That’s making your quota. Prospecting is about the activity

Let me explain. It takes activity to get people into my pipeline before I can close them. How many calls did I make today? How many conversations did I have? If you measure your results, you’re more likely to get discouraged. Instead, try measuring your activity, and I guarantee you’ll be more successful.

10. Check your attitude and motivation. 

Sales is an emotional game.

And if your attitude and your motivation are not in the right place, guess what? You’re not going to be successful. I guarantee it. It will not happen.

Focus on the outcome you can create, knowing that you can help others see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. Then, remember that it’s going to take a lot of activity

 

This week on The Sales Hunter Podcast…

Prospects need and deserve a relationship with a sales professional that will:

-ask the right questions

-dig in if they need to

-show up in that authentic, strong, and personal way. 

Do you feel like a professional equal to your prospects?

Are you afraid to ask tough questions….if so, why?

Join Mark and his guest, Liz Wendling as they discuss how to lower the temperature in the room, make a customer feel comfortable, and ask relevant questions. 

New episodes every Thursday! Subscribe to The Sales Hunter Podcast today. 

 

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Copyright 2022, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

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