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Six Powerful Prospecting Tips
Guest articles > Six Powerful Prospecting Tips
by: John Boe
Why is it that some sales reps consistently earn a six-figure annual income while other reps, putting in the same hours, selling the same products and trained by the same sales manager struggle each month financially to make ends meet? The answer to this question is painfully simple; the six-figure sales reps spend more time on the phone and never forget to ask for referrals!
Top producers don't need to be told to ask for referrals or follow up on hot leads, because they understand that prospecting is a necessity and not just an activity. The good news is that prospecting for new business, like any other skill, can be trained and developed into a habit.
Six Powerful Prospecting Tips to Build Your Business
Tip One: Don't Forget to Ask for Referrals.
When it comes to asking for referrals, timing is everything. Research
indicates that the most effective time to ask for referrals is right after
you've made the sale or provided a valuable service for your customer. Asking
for referrals prior to closing the sale is a big mistake and may even jeopardize
the sale itself. Once the sale has been completed, your customer will be on an
“emotional high” and far more receptive to the idea of providing you referrals.
Tip Two: Train and Reward Your Advocates.
An advocate is a person who's willing to go out of his or her way to recommend you to a friend or associate. Most customers are initially reluctant to provide referrals without some basic training and motivation.
Once you're given a prospect, it's a good idea to take the time to role-play with your advocate to demonstrate how to approach and talk to their referral. A brief role-playing exercise will build your advocate's confidence and keep them from overeducating their referrals. During your role-play session, be sure to prepare your advocate to expect some initial resistance. This training will pay big dividends by making your advocate more effective and less likely to become discouraged when faced with rejection.
Always take the time to thank your advocates and give them feedback on the
status of their referrals. I recommend that you call them and then follow up by
sending a thank you card and or gift.
Tip Three: Strike While the Iron is HOT.
Prospects, like food in your refrigerator, are perishable and therefore need
to be contacted quickly. Each day you let slip by without making initial contact
with your referral dramatically reduces the probability of you making the sale.
Develop the habit of contacting your referrals within two-business days or
sooner. Have a system to keep track of your referrals so they don't end up
falling through the cracks. It's critical to have a computerized client contact
management system to record your remarks and track future contacts and
appointments. Relying on your memory alone is a very poor business decision that
will cost you dearly.
Tip Four: Schedule a Minimum of Two-Hours a Day for Phone Calling.
Make your phone calls in the morning while you and your referrals are both fresh and alert. Treat your prospecting time with the same respect you would give to any other important appointment. This is not the time to check your e-mails, play solitaire on the computer, make personal phone calls or chat with your associates.
Avoid the temptation to try and sell your product or service over the phone. Your objective for every phone call is to create interest, gather information and make an appointment. If your prospect asks you a question, get in the habit of going for an appointment rather than giving a quick response.
Don't shoot from the hip use a script. It's important to use a phone script
when you contact your prospect so you don't leave out any key information. It's
a good idea to role-play your script over the phone with your sales manager
until he or she feels you sound confident and professional.
Tip Five: Qualify Your Prospect at Maximum Range.
Unfortunately, not every prospect will be interested or qualified financially
to purchase your products or services. Successful sales reps don't waste time
chasing after low-probability prospects and know when it's time to cut their
losses and move on.
Tip Six: Don't Take Rejection Personally.
Selling, like baseball, is a numbers game pure and simple. Rejection is to be
anticipated as a natural aspect of the qualification process, so don't take it
personally. Learn from rejection by using it as a valuable feedback mechanism.
Salespeople who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the
John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 877 725-3750. Free Newsletter available on website.
Contributor: John Boe
Published here on: 14-Nov-10
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