Home > sales prospecting > A Lesson in Prospecting For Sales

A Lesson in Prospecting For Sales

Fear can come in many varieties.  There is the fear of swimming over your head.  There is the fear of rejection.  There is the fear of unfamiliarity.  There is the fear of asking.  There are many other fears and too many to mention but the one thing they all have in common is they are all valid, legitimate excuses to keep you from what you need to do.  Like my father tells me, though, “Fear is acceptable.  Letting Fear keep you from accomplishing your goals is not.”  Cold calling/prospecting wraps all of these fears into a tight little ball of ice that sits in your stomach and sometimes can even make your finger shake as you reach for that first dial of the day.  However, there are things you can do to help alleviate the fear of the call and make it a more effective communication for both you and your client.

Simply cold calling from a list of clients is valid and has its place, but it shouldn’t be the only method you use for prospecting.  Also, a list such as this, (usually an Excel spreadsheet), doesn’t give you the opportunity to minimize the trepidation that keeps you from a having a successful call campaign.

Firstly, have a message.  Don’t ever call with the dreaded “just touching base” routine as it most often will be a waste of your time and your client’s.  Sometimes, if you are on a really good relationship with the client, it will work.  However, even then it may not so I advise to just not use it.  When you have a prepared message to share, (something of value), you will find it makes the call proceed much more smoothly.

Secondly, do a little research on the clients you will be calling.  Knowing the background helps to keep the conversation going and become more familiar with the customer.  It gives the client the feeling that you care and will be more likely to stay on the phone and let you make your pitch.  Also, the research can help you group similar clients so that the calls are easier to make because you can bring up industry specific points your competition may not be able to do.  You will seem to be more than just a provider of a product…you will be a seen as a resource.

Finally, end with an action step.  The client may not be in a position to buy your product or services right now but there are other things you can get from the call.  Set up a meeting to better understand their needs.  Put them on a mailing list.  Ask when they will be ready to buy and set up a call back date.  This is still prospecting and having these steps set up your next point of contacts will help you ease into the routine and get over the fear of calling.  I agree with Steve Richard when he says cold calling will not go away, as he writes in his guest blog for MSNBC.  You need to accept it as an integral aspect of your sales program.  Trust me, I feel the fear as well, even after all these years, but I know now how to get past it and I feel better as a result.

  1. Kevin Moran
    April 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Nice job Nery! I am also in the biz and I could use all the advice I can get.

    • April 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Kevin. I would gladly approach any relevant topic you would like to see discussed.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: