If you ask 100 sales professionals what their favorite aspect of selling is, I’m willing to bet that 95 of them will not mention prospecting. Our training teaches selling skills, ideas, and techniques for all aspects of the selling cycle, which I have broken down into seven areas:
Normally when I bring up prospecting for the 1st time there is an audible groan. Prospecting? Yuck! I have to believe they have that reaction because they don’t have the right attitude about prospecting.
Beside prospecting, we teach a little abut how to make a positive first impression with your original contact. I talk about the value, ways, and means of qualifying prospects to determine if you have the right solution for them..We cover methods and styles of delivery for presenting or demonstrating your product or service. I talk about many methods of addressing client concerns and several ways to close a sale.
When I get back around to the end of the selling cycle, which involves a type of prospecting called referrals, students have a different attitude entirely. They listen more intently. They lean forward in their chairs. They nod. They take more notes. Obviously, they don’t mind this perspective on the subject. That’s because I have given them effective skill thy can begin applying on their very next sale, so I’ve gained some credibility with them.
You have another reason to pay attention: I begin talking about referrals by telling my students how high the closing ratio is on a prequalified, referred lead versus a cold call.
As your career progresses, you’ll find most of your prospects come from your satisfied clients. This is what I mean by referral prospecting. Make getting referrals a major source of your new business by asking for them after closing every sale. The request can be as simple as this:
Well, Mr. Smith, you probably know another person who could benefit from ownership of a new home, someone in your circle of friends, perhaps a family member. I sure would appreciate the opportunity to serve them as well. Who comes to mind?
Your customer probably knows several people and may be willing to provide names, addresses and phone numbers. Sometimes the happy customer even contacts the referral for you. Studies indicate a poor 10 percent closing ratio with nonqualified leads, yet with qualified referrals, that closing ratio jumps to a whopping 60 percent! Your credibility jumps sky high with good referrals, too, because the individual knows and trust the person making the referral. Your goal should be to build an endless chain of satisfied customers who are delighted to refer business your way. Satisfied clients become interested in your success and continue to send people to you if you handle them properly.
High closing ratios grab the attention of anyone who sells a product or service for a living. In order to begin getting any kind of closing ratio, uou need to prospect. You must see enough of the right people at the right time and with the right presentation to make sales – and the only way to do that, my friend, is to prospect.
Have a good one and let me know if you need anything.