Stop chasing prospects – make them come to you.
Despite seminars, podcasts, training programs, books and pressure from managers, most salespeople are experts in prospecting excuse.
Why is there so much resistance to finding new customers? Why do people who enjoy selling find it so difficult to sell themselves to prospects?
The answer may be that selling and prospecting require two different skillsets. Even those who are good at closing sales never have enough leads. Ask salespeople what they want most, and most will say, “Referrals.” Salespeople are most confident when the path is prepared for them, whether that means a referral or some other qualified lead.
Instead of spending time trying to find prospects, then, wouldn’t it be more productive if your prospects found you? Easier said that done, because it requires making a good impression before you give your presentation. In other words, prospects must have a positive picture of you before a meeting even takes place.
If a prospect doesn’t know you, it’s easy to say “No thanks.” No one has time to meet with someone they don’t know. Don’t make the deadly mistake of asking for an appointment or, when that doesn’t work, the name of someone they may know whom you can contact. if you do, you’re just another salesperson looking fora quick hit. Instead, try a different approach: pull prospecting, which opens the door for prospects to come to you.
Start by describing, in one sentence, why someone should do business with you- why it’s in their best interest to spend their money with you, and why they should trust you. Now, read it out loud- slowly. Are you satisfied? Would you do business with someone who said the same thing? This isn’t about an elevator speech, and it’s not about what you sell. It’s what you do for your customers that keeps them coming back. It’s about what sets you apart from the competition.
Next, ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to find someone who will listen to your spiel? Get through the door? Sell something? If that’s what you want, you’re in trouble– selling isn’t about the salesperson, it’s about the customer.
What’s the picture prospects have of you? Is it fuzzy? Confused? Negative? Neutral? Or is it positive and compelling? If there’s nothing special about you, you’re just another salesperson trying to get an order.
Article by John Graham
Prospecting isn’t about getting through the door. It’s about shaping the way prospects think of you so that they want to do business with you. Here are six ways to pull prospects into your orbit:
1. Focus on what they–not you–want and need.
2. Demonstrate your competence by sharing your knowledge.
3. Stay in touch regularly.
4. Maximize your visibility by seeking presentation opportunities, authoring blogs and acquiring testimonials.
5. Never stop building your prospect database.
6. Communicate regularly via email, LinkedIn and Facebook.