If someone told you your job was to call or email people who you don’t know… that didn’t want to talk to you … about something they didn’t want to buy … how quickly would you sign up?
Nobody would be dumb enough to sign up for that. It’s ridiculous. Most would rather poke their eyes out with a pencil! Why would you do that? You’re an intelligent person. You have a degree or a skill that is in demand. You are a valuable member of society. You’d never do that – giant waste of time.
Of course not! But that’s what we do in sales. Or, should we say, that’s what the successful salespeople do. It’s called prospecting. If new business is the life-blood of your business then prospecting is the life-blood of your role in sales – like it or not, gotta do it.
How familiar does this sound? It’s time to make prospecting calls. But you have other things to do. Need to check email. Should probably call a buddy or two. Ugh! Stapler’s out of staples. Maybe I should ask Ann to go to lunch. Too much coffee, gotta go to the rest room. Wonder how production is doing on my Binford 5,000 project … better call Pete. And so on, & so on, & so on.
You know you do it! You know you shouldn’t!
The “other things” that need to be done in sales can easily take up your whole day, your entire week, the better part of your month. Eventually your quarter is looking thin. This is when you start blaming prospects for not calling back. Blaming production for quality problems. Blaming marketing for no leads. Oh, it’s easy to point fingers.
What’s hard to do is have the discipline to do what’s right in sales: TO CALL PEOPLE WHO YOU DON’T KNOW WHO MAY NOT WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT SOMETHING THEY MAY NOT WANT TO BUY.
That finger needs to be pointed right between your eyes. Nobody else is responsible for your prospecting activity – only you.
Want some ideas to take the heat off?:
- Schedule “prospecting time” on your calendar (an appointment with yourself that you MUST keep)
- Make it a game. Call until you get 3 people to tell you NO (with voice mail, how long will it take you to talk to 3 people?)
- Ask 3 clients per week for a referral or introduction . . . “WHO DO YOU KNOW?”
- Make it easy to start (do your research ahead of time so you have a list of prospects to reach out to)
- Make a personal call before you start your prospecting calls (keep it to 2 minutes)
Or, you can always ask to get moved to accounting, engineering or production. See how long you last there!