We all wish every lead turned into a great prospect and in less time. You probably also want it all to take you less time than it takes to decide what you want to eat for lunch. That would be the greatest customer, right? Yes, in a perfect world, that could happen. I would be happy to settle even if the entire process only took 24 hours. The fact is that too often leads don’t go anywhere and we’re left with a painfully slow journey to try to get the next customer.
Here are 10 things you need to do to prospect faster:
1. Look through your list of customers and identify the top 3. Then, make a list of their characteristics and why they buy from you. Use this list to as a guide as you prospect. If the lead doesn’t possess any of these characteristics, challenge yourself in why you’re spending time with them.
2. Block enough time in your calendar to both lead development phase and qualify the prospect. Designate separate times to ensure both of these get done. You want to be sure to not emphasize one over the other.
3. Do not fixate on the number of leads you have. It shouldn’t ever be about that. The number you want to focus on is your number of qualified prospects.
Check out this 93-second video where I talk about your sales pipeline.
4. Work on quickly qualifying each lead by asking what they know about you and your company. Your reputation always arrives ahead of you and the better your reputation, the sooner trust is built. The single biggest driver in accelerating prospecting is the ability to establish trust with the prospect.
5. Make your prospects earn the right to become prospects. Even if they fit your perfect customer criteria, you still need to understand how you can help them. This means they have to be willing to articulate their needs in a way that you can begin to help them. The customer may be confused, so it’s your job to reduce the confusion. You’ll clear things up best by asking questions. This will get them to open up and share with you. Your conversations increase the prospect’s confidence and also deepens their trust in you.
6. Build your selling process around making it as easy as possible for a prospect to become a customer as you can. Don’t over complicate things. Everyone wants their next customer to be massive, but start with a small order first. Once you get that first small order, it becomes much easier to upsell.
7. Don’t stay with a prospect that is not forthcoming with giving information. Just because you know you can help them, let them go if they aren’t willing to dance with you. Don’t let your emotions hold you hostage to thinking that you need to keep focusing on them. Your time is too valuable. You can always come back to them later.
8. Never allow a conversation to end without a clear next step. Ambiguity never belongs in sales; it will just get you into trouble. Every conversation must end with the next step clearly laid out along with the prospect’s next action. The action they take regardless of how small it might be will indicate their desire to move forward.
9. Do not be afraid to ask tough questions during the prospect-qualifying phase. Your objective is to confirm that they can be your customer. If they won’t engage with you now, what makes you think they will engage with you later on?
10. Never lose site of what expectations you can deliver. In the urge to close, it’s easy to make claims about performance and how the customer will benefit from what you have to offer. If you fall into this trap, I promise it will quickly come back to haunt you. Don’t get loose with what you say, or you will find your employer cutting loose from you.
Finally, never forget this quote that I use a lot: when you prospect with integrity, you will get customers who have integrity.
Copyright 2019, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results