Proper Prospecting Promotes Promising Profits!
It is the vicious cycle of business that prospecting and lead generation are neccesary to hit promising profits! It is also true that for most business owners, prospecting and lead generation can be daunting, frustrating and very complicated. Most hire sales people because it is simply not something they want to spend time doing! In my career I have always been one of those people that was brought on for the sole purpose of prospecting, and truthfully it’s because I love it. I do not work for a company unless I believe in what I am doing and therefore I get super excited to share that with my community. I also always try to remember my 5’Ps for motivation when the time comes: Proper Prospecting Promotes Promising Profits! So what does Proper Prospecting look like? Below are some tips and tricks I use!
Build a Prospect List
For Business to Consumer models this won’t be as relevant, but can still be used to focus on products or services used to draw in consumers and then target demographics for those. For my B2B friends however, building a prospect list is crucial. I have an Excel data sheet broken down by industries that includes the Company Name, Address, Phone Number, Hours of Operation, Decision Maker and Notes listed for each industry page. First use Google to gather the easy info, basically everything but the decision maker, and fill in your sheet. You can choose how many to grab, but I tend to focus on the top 50 businesses Google gives me. Once you have it filled out, you can use LinkedIn or Manta to find the Decision Maker name. As you call or reach out, don’t forget to write the most recent steps and results in your notes! This structure for prospecting will keep you focused and allow you to set actionable, concrete goals. It is a lot of work upfront, but will provide you long-term benefits moving forward.
If you are like me, you have run into the situation where you put in all of this time and effort building out your prospecting list, and then don’t use it, because you let day to day situations and obstacles get in the way… Don’t worry! It is natural to get side-tracked, especially when it helps you procrastinate on something you may not want to do. To keep yourself honest and focused, try scheduling out blocks of times for the next week. Set aside a 9-11 or 1-3 time block on your calendar that you are going to dedicate to prospecting and then STICK TO IT. You put it there in advance for YOU and your growth. As prospecting block times come up, treat that time like you would any other meeting and honor it.
Focus on your industry when you’re block scheduling as well. Do you need to speak to doctors? Home services? Retail? Consider when your prospects are less busy and utilize your schedule for them at that time. Home Services should be your earliest call time, before they hit the road for the day. Doctors may be best at lunch when they have a break from patients and can step aside. Retail is probably close to their opening or closing time, when they are starting or wrapping up the day.
Set Goals, Avoid Burnout!
For the sake of your mental health, set ACHIEVABLE goals for your prospecting. What may work for a friend or a co-worker may not work for you. If you’re new to prospecting, start easy. For example, at my first prospecting job, I set my starting goal at 10 Cold Calls, 10 Follow Ups, and 10 emails. A friend of mine dropped hers to 5 because she got burned out quickly. Do what you need to do based not only off your goals, but also your capacity. If you call or meet someone while you are feeling exhausted or drained, that feeling will come across to the prospect. We can’t hide discomfort that easily. When you hit your goal, reward yourself! Maybe that means taking a step outside and going for a walk, maybe it’s getting a fun snack. Whatever works for you, celebrate the goal you achieved.
Connect, Connect, Connect
Business owners and Consumers are still people, and at the end of the day, people work with who they know, like, and trust. You need to find the perfect ground in helping your prospects feel that connection with you, and often times, you need to do it pretty quickly. Don’t be afraid to educate yourself and learn more about strategies for this! One book that helped me so much was Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount. And the number one thing that helped me achieve connection with prospects was the Power Up Your Sales workshop with Coach and Certified DiSC Instructor Sandy Merritt. If you want to talk it out or find out more strategies for Proper Prospecting, feel free to reach out to me!
Author: Matthew Thomas, Marketing Manager in Louisville, Kentucky.