How to Prepare to Prospect - 10 Things You Need to Do
by Mark Hunter
If you fail to properly prepare, you are setting yourself up for failure. This doesn't just apply to prospecting but everything you do. Prospecting is already a tough task; it’s only made tougher when you fail to prepare. Below are 10 steps you need to follow to ensure you’re prepared to prospect. Check out my video where I further discuss these 10 items: https://youtu.be/Ksr0w_4MV00
1. Don't focus on what you sell, but rather, on the benefits and outcomes you provide. Those people you reach out to don't care about what you're selling, they just want solutions to their issues. Take 5 minutes and write down all of your customer's outcomes that they have received because of buying from you.
2. Know who you plan to contact. The days of making random phone calls are gone. Ask yourself: who is your perfect customer and what outcomes can you help them achieve? Focus on prospecting with the people who align closest to your perfect customer.
3. Know your talking points and know them well. The last thing you or the prospect wants is a lame conversation that doesn’t go anywhere. You need to know what questions you will ask to open up and engage with the prospect. It's not about asking them how their day is going or if they have time to talk. Your priority is to immediately engage them with a question that they find interesting.
4. Understand your objective. If you’re making initial calls, your objective is to secure a time for a discovery call. Keep in mind that your initial call will probably catch them off-guard, so don't expect for them to have time to talk to you. That's an unrealistic expectation.
5. Accept the fact that your calls are an interruption to the other person’s day; however, do not allow that to stop you. There is no better time to make the call than right now. Always view your upcoming calls as an opportunity for the prospect to unexpectedly see how you can help them.
6. Focus on reaching out to prospects. In order to do this successfully, you'll need to clear your desk and block your calendar. Then, honor the blocked off time in your calendar and commit to only prospecting. Do not fool yourself by thinking that you will prospect after you get everything else done. That will never happen.
7. Set specific goals for each block of prospecting time. As you know, prospecting can become tedious and routine. It’s important that you have an achievable goal of the number of calls or conversations you want to have. Make a goal and then congratulate yourself once you achieve it.
8. Always know what you will say if a gatekeeper answers or you get the person’s voicemail. Your response to both of these is different than if you reached the decision maker. Know in advance exactly what you intend to say.
9. Make sure your CRM / Sales Engagement software is open and ready. Personally, I prefer VanillaSoft for this activity.
10. Before making each call, take a couple minutes to be thankful for your opportunity to reach out and help people. Each call is unique and each call has the potential to be the best. It’s up to you to be ready and to have a great attitude, regardless of how the other party responds.
Prospecting is the start of the sales process. If you want to have closing deals, you have to spend the time developing your prospects. I like to sum it up this way: your level of prospecting this month determines the level of deals you will close next month.
Finally, let me end with a quote that I use often: our goal with each person we meet is to earn the right, privilege, honor, and respect to meet with that person again. This applies 100% to prospecting, because when we prospect with integrity we will get customers who have integrity.
Copyright 2019, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results