“There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”
Prospecting is the most important aspect of sales. The top salespeople are where they are because they never stop prospecting – they take any opportunity that comes their way. These “sales superstars” spend as much as 80% of their time on outreach projects.
But how do they do it? What are they doing?
First things first, they follow the three “core laws”of prospecting.
1. The Universal Law of Need
The more you need a sale, the less likely you are to get one. The prospect can tell as soon as you get desperate, and they won’t bite because of it. But don’t sweat it, this problem is a quick fix. You need to prospect all the time, that way your pipeline is always full.
2. The 30-Day Rule
The prospecting you do in a 30-day period will carry through for the next 90-day period. If you miss prospecting for a day during the initial 30-day period, you will come up short during the 90-day period that follows. It’s in your best interest to prospect constantly.
3. The Law of Replacement
Don’t settle after making a sale. Always replace the opportunity with a new one to keep your sales pipeline going. A salesperson should add new prospects “at a rate that matches or exceeds their closing ratio.”
Jeb Blount also writes about sales formulas. He explains how the amount of quality and quantity that you put into your pipeline will determine what you get out of it when you’re finished. He discusses golfer Arnold Palmer’s similar formula: “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Which can be directly applied to sales by saying:
“The more you prospect, the luckier you get.”
Great salespeople, referred to in this book as “Fanatical Prospectors”, share several mindsets:
1. Optimistic and enthusiastic
Love what you do, attack everything with the same positive enthusiasm as before.
Do what it takes to hustle your way to the top.
Believe in your ability to do the things you do.
If there’s a chance to close the deal. Don’t stop until you’ve done it.
5. Thirsty for knowledge
Never. Stop. Learning. Take any opportunity for growth that comes your way and use it to become the best version of yourself. The second you stop learning is the moment you fail.
6. Systematic and efficient
Track your prospecting and sales practices. Look back and learn from them.
7. Adaptive and flexible
Yes, there’s likely one way to do things that’s easier than the rest, but it still isn’t the only way to get the same result. Fanatic Prospectors apply the “three As” for this:
· Adopt the best ideas to be effective.
· Adapt these ideas so they work best for you.
· Become Adept at what you do.
Blount discusses “the Fine Art of Interrupting”, how it can be awkward, and how to do it right. Nobody likes to be interrupted, but it’s pretty much unavoidable during a sales call. But the thing is, there should be so much more going on than just those sales calls. A Fanatical Prospector exercises every marketing tool available to them – cold calls, phone calls, emails, social selling, networking, and so on and so on.
Expanding your voice throughout multiple platforms (like the ones previously mentioned) spreads out the intensity of your interruptions. Gradually, you won’t come across as an interruption, your presence will be familiar and welcome.
“The first rule of holes is when you are in one, stop digging, and the first rule of sales slumps is when you are in one, start prospecting.”
When it comes to sales, there’s little time to relish in the victories of past accomplishments. You can’t focus on the past, because all that matters is what you plan on doing tomorrow. It takes a certain amount of grit to survive in an environment that’s constantly asking for more from you.
But don’t fret, “Mental Toughness” can be developed. It depends on four factors:
How bad do you want it?
2. Mental resilience
Remember to take time for yourself. You won’t be able to stay successful if you’re working yourself dry. Take the time to read and get better at what you do every now and then.
3. Out-learn = out-earn
Again, the second you stop learning is the moment you lose.
4. Physical resilience
It’s common to get beat-down by a string of rejection. It happens all the time. Be sure to take care of yourself when the going gets tough. Remember to eat right, exercise, get enough rest, and just take good care of yourself in general.
“Fanatical prospectors receive more rejection before 9:00 a.m. than the average person gets in an entire year. The fact is, most people wouldn’t last a minute in sales.”
Jeb Blount goes into social selling and discusses the importance of social media. Not only is social media a tool for you to build a brand identity for yourself, a brand that the prospect feels comfortable with and trusts, but it can also be used to learn valuable information about your prospect. A person’s social media is often filled with their buying preferences and habits, and if you’re lucky enough, you may even uncover certain triggers to avoid for that individual.
“To succeed in sales, simply talk to lots of people every day. And here’s what’s exciting: There are lots of people!” – Jim Rohn
Prospecting over the phone –
The telephone is a salesperson’s most powerful tool. Blount writes about how an efficient salesperson can make 20-25 phone calls in an hour – that has the potential to be upwards on 200 calls in a single day. This is a very useful way to fill your sales pipeline – Blount recommends blocking off an hour or two of each day to focus on making phone calls.
Don’t know the most effective way to do a cold call? That’s okay. Keep reading!
1. Get their attention
Just say hi, don’t get to asking any questions just yet.
2. Identify yourself
Tell them who you are and who you work for.
3. Tell them why you’re calling
Be straight forward, the prospect is waiting for you to get to the point.
4. Give them a “because”
What’s in it for them?
5. “Ask for what you want and shut up.”
Don’t waste the prospect’s time with jargon and fluff. Tell them what you want so they can make their decision and you both can move forward.
Prospecting via email –
Your email is there to help you become the most efficient prospector you’ve ever been. You can schedule emails to send outside the “golden hours” of prospecting and continue to work on other items while they go out. And even aside from your typical e-blasts, you should also use your email as a way to follow up and recap with past calls.
Make sure that your emails get delivered and stay out of spam folders by not sending bulk emails, images, and hyperlinks (most email programs will identify the latter as spam). Make your subject lines compelling! Use emojis and bold lettering to grab the prospect’s attention.
“Superstars out-earn other salespeople – taking home almost all of the available commissions and bonuses.”
So go on now; be a superstar.
Find Jeb Blount's, Fanatical Prospecting, here: https://www.audible.ca/pd/Fanatical-Prospecting-Audiobook/