15 03 2011

Prospecting is selling. You should never stop looking for new business. When the economy is great and people are beating down your doors to use your products or a service that is the time to find a few hours each week to prospect.

Too often when things are going well, business is flourishing and revenues are up, prospecting becomes an afterthought, and the team’s momentum and desire to look for new business is lost. At some time, the pipeline will either slow down or run dry, and you will wonder what has happened.

Usually this is when everybody on the team rushes in offering lower margin programs to recover lost revenues. The value of your product or services has not diminished a bit, you have just set yourself up to undersell. If you view prospecting as a necessary part of your selling strategy, and every day there is a concerted effort towards this most important function of the sales process, you might not find yourself in this untenable position.

Some say 25% of the day should be devoted to prospecting, some say 50% or higher (I personally think it depends on what your industry demands, and how your selling cycle operates). Entering a prospect in to your sales pipeline is the number one most important thing a sales or service person can do, and the only way to find new customers is to look for them.

Much like the old prospectors mining for gold, the excitement and challenge is in finding that nugget. Most prospectors who found that first nugget of gold found that they were in the right place to collect even more – they were the successful miners.

Many things prevent sales or service people from prospecting for new customers. Most times it is a lack of measureable accountabilities from the leadership of the company, and a deep rooted complacency that results from years of relative success. The fallacy of continuing to “hope” that business trends will continue to grow has forced many companies to collapse. Regardless of your successful past in business, you always need to be out there asking for that business, and thanking your clients for their support.

When you look at prospecting as a selling tool, and instill a clear understanding of this important element of the sales process, you should be on the road to continued success. Leadership should never discourage their team from getting out of the office frequently to prospect. You should never allow your team to become a victim of their own success by limiting their ability to prospect.

Be vigilant in your efforts to be the best at what you do, and win the battle for customer acquisition and retention by employing a sales process that includes a strong a detailed commitment to prospecting. You can be assured your competitors are employing the same techniques to assure they receive the business that you deserve. And if they are doing a better job at prospecting than you are, perhaps they deserve that business more than you.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: