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  • Writer's pictureNick Klingensmith

No BAD Soliciting

If you're in sales and absolutely hate prospecting, you may be in the wrong career, or you may just be doing it wrong.

You may be dreading making that cold call for the same reason your lead hates receiving it.

Nobody wants to answer the phone and be sold to.

Prospecting isn’t supposed to be selling.

My ex-wife once told me she hated salespeople. When I learned why, I discovered it wasn’t that she hated salespeople. She hated bad salespeople.

She was an accountant in a family-run financial investment firm. She was the only non-family member. On some occasion, the family would have an obligation and she was the only person working in the office. In walks the sales rep from an office supply company.

He didn’t introduce himself and ask who the decision maker was. He didn’t ask to leave a card for the office manager. He just pitched her, relentlessly. He fired away their discount prices, delivery options and superior customer service. He just kept telling her how much he could save her.

He could have been in and out of there in less than a minute with the right contact information. He likely could have found information about the current supplier. Instead he ensured he would forever be screened by the one person in the company with 0 decision making authority or influence whatsoever.

Prospecting isn’t supposed to be selling. Prospecting is a form of elimination. Prospecting is a means of identifying who is most likely to benefit from and adopt your products or services. Find the information. Build the list. That’s it.

Cold call reluctance can steal your soul. But trying to avoid cold calls forces you to sell to unqualified prospects and actually increases the number of rejections! Selling to unqualified prospects doesn’t create opportunities. Instead it produces low yield, transactional results.

Unqualified prospects make for unsatisfied customers.

Selling to prospects actually guarantees that you must spend even more time cold calling. That’s a sales methodology that’s not sustainable. You’re better off playing a scratch ticket. Oh, and let’s not forget, the customer isn’t thrilled by it either.

Prospecting is NOT cold calling for customers. It’s cold calling for Prospects!

Do what’s hard.

  • Set aside uninterrupted blocks of time to prospect. Remove all distractions. Depending on your industry, mornings are typically best.

  • Set a goal. If you know your ratios, how many prospects do you need to identify? If you don’t, how many dials are you going to make? Hit it hard and be done with it!

  • Stick to the script! Repetition doesn’t make you sound robotic. It makes you sound professional.

  • By sticking to a script and call structure, you can turn your attention to listening to what the prospect is saying rather than thinking about what to say next

  • Be respectful by being direct. Yes, yes, all gatekeepers love to talk to you. But you’re just being rude. Be friendly and respect their time by being direct.

  • Stay disciplined. Trust the process.

While prospecting should always be a daily activity in any salesperson’s life, soon you’ll be spending more time interacting with qualified and interested opportunities instead of just dialing for dollars. Don’t be a bad salesperson. The difference between a professional salesperson and a stereotypical telemarketer is YOU.

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