Open Sesame...6 Ways to Get Prospects to Open Doors
Typically when you mention the word “prospecting” to a sales rep, they cringe. People will easily admit that networking events are their least favorite activity, however the successful reps have found that networking is critical to their success. Having reps put together a prospecting plan will keep a constant flow of business coming in the door.
In order to create prospecting success we need to:
- Plan for it
- Be creative
Tips for Positive Prospecting and Better Results
- Have reps block out time everyday for prospecting. Be sure to create measures for prospecting that both you and your reps can track. Use these metrics to set goals for each rep to meet during his or her scheduled prospecting block. Don’t allow prospecting to become low priority because just because it is disliked.
- The biggest mistake that sales staff make when prospecting is repetition. Calling on prospects to give the same old tired pitch time after time is not going get reps a top spot when vying for a prospect's attention. Sales reps need to give prospects a reason to talk with them. This can be done in a number of different ways. Encourage reps to use their creativity. For example a rep might send a menu from a local restaurant with a meeting request written right on the menu requesting a ½ hour of the prospect's time and they'll bring lunch.
- Encourage reps to constantly be thinking of ways to set themselves apart! As a manager, you may want to consider sponsoring an internal contest to have reps come up with low cost alternatives that may serve as door openers to new clients.
- Challenge reps to compete against one another to generate the highest number of appointments from prospecting calls within a given period. Offer a coveted prize to increase participation and motivation. This is just one idea to fuel reps to make prospecting calls and keep your pipeline full. Doesn’t sound like your culture? Then have reps pair up and coach each other specifically on their prospecting. Have the pairs meet on a regular basis to discuss their progress, including one prospecting success as well as one challenge. Having the reps peer coach one another creates an opportunity for them to ask for help and learn from each other in an open, supportive environment.
- Help reps keep their energy levels high. Encourage reps to get up every ½ hour for a quick break, hit up a guided meditation app, hold a few yoga poses, or watch a funny YouTube video, anything to get reps to stop and reenergize. Incorporating a change in physiology, instead of repetitive actions over long blocks of time, has proven time and time again to produce better results.
- Stress the importance of following up after a good phone conversation or appointment. Create a plan of action for reps to confirm appointment prior to, as well as after, to thank prospects for their time. Many reps will not take the time to write a hand written note to let the prospect know that their gift of time was greatly appreciated. Remember, there is always other people who need your prospect's time and your competitor may have had a conversation with them the same day.