Prospecting is finding the right buyer for your product or service. Prospecting Involves two steps:
Simple, isn’t it? That doesn’t mean prospecting is easy or that you can take it lightly. You have to get organized, plan, stay motivated, and, most of all, you have to act.
There are almost as many different ways to prospect as there are types of prospects. But the methods breaks down into two general categories: cold calling and what I call warm prospecting.
Cold calling means contacting anyone and everyone with the hope that someone, somewhere will want your product or service. For some sales professionals, cold calling means getting out the telephone book and, starting with Aaron Aaderson, calling people at their homes. Others count on the Yellow Pages for leads. Still others must put on their walking shoes and start knocking on homeowners’s doors, or entering lobbies at businesses, seeking prospects. These methods usually lead to conversations like this one:
You: Good morning. My name is John Brown. I’m in business in the community. Who in your company is responsible for the training of the firms sales staff you have here?
Them: That would be Sarah Hill
You: Is Ms. Hill in?
Them: Yes, she is, but she’s in a meeting.
You: By the way, what is your name?
Them: My name is Anne.
You: Thank you for your help, Anne. May I ask when the best time is to reach Ms. Hill?
Them: Probably first thing in the morning. She spends a lot of her day in meetings and training sessions.
You: That’s perfectly understandable and probably why she does such a great job. I’d like to leave my card, Anne. Would you please give it to Ms. Hill with a message that I’ll contact her early in the day tomorrow? I need only two minutes of her time. I have some information to share with her that could greatly enhance the trainig she is currently providing, with the end result being increased sales and a great amount of time saved in her current efforts. Again, I thank you for your assistance, Anne. You’re doing a great job here!
Using cold calling, as in this scenario, you didn’t get to meet Ms. Hill because your timing wasn’t convenient for her. You did, however, gain a bit of knowledge about her that will bring you on step closer to meeting her tomorrow – even if the meeting takes lace over the telephone. You can bet that when you call in and address Anne by name in the morning she’ll remember your courtesy toward her and try to continue to help you by getting you through to Ms. Hill.
This may be the hard way to reaching Ms. Hill, but if you currently have no other means of getting yourself in front of her, go for it!
Cold calling can be an overwhelming endeavor, one that can easily dishearten you if it’s not done properly. That’s why so many salespeople avoid it like the plague. It’s a good part of the reason that the mere mention of the term prospecting in general elicits groans from salespeople the world over.
I hope you’re having a great day – let me know if you need anything.