Prospecting Mistakes and Prospecting Advice
HERE ARE TEN PROSPECTING MISTAKES YOU ARE PROBABLY MAKING RIGHT NOW
Since I made my very first sales call as a junior at San Diego State for The Daily Aztec until this very moment decades later, I have found one thing in common for almost every business person, whether they are in the sales department or not: The number one least favorite thing almost every one of them hate is to prospect for new business. The problem is that they make prospecting mistakes that make their job harder. And when you make prospecting mistakes, it makes your sales job a lot harder. And when your sales job is harder, you don’t want to do any prospecting for new business.
Prospecting Mistake 1. Don’t Ignore your prospect’s inner thoughts, goals and dreams.
The thing that most sales people forget in the sales process is that it cannot be about them. You have to focus on your prospects needs. The average person will run away from something painful faster than they will run toward something pleasurable.
Prospecting Mistake 2. Using the same message multiple times. Too many times.
When I started as a sales manager and then as a small business coach, I was shocked to see how common this mistake was. Sales people and small business owners send the same social media and email messages over and over and send the same direct mail pieces to the same people. Often, you just need to change up the message. What we teach our coaching clients is to remember that it’s all about testing.
Prospecting Mistake 3. Prospecting inconsistently.
Prospecting should be done on a regular basis for several reasons. First, it allows you to build momentum. Second, it makes sure you avoid the feast-or-famine cycle which wreaks havoc on many service professionals and retail companies. Third, it allows you to systematically test your approaches to see if one works better than the other.
Prospecting Mistake 4. “Selling” too early in the process.
This is good news because it means you don’t have to be pushy to be a good prospector. My God, don’t you hate it when you meet someone and they go instantly into some kind of sales pitch? UGH. Because this is such an important concept, allow me to pull back a curtain for you here. I am so very hyper aware of the SELLING TOO OFTEN mistake that we go overboard in the other direction. When you are on our ‘list’ you hear the word ‘free’ a lot. Free blog (like this one). Free podcast. Free webinar. Free. Free. Free. Be of service, and your client base will grow as large as ours. We normally add this offer at the end of our blogs, but this one is really important so here’s something free for you early: Get your free 30-minute FOCUS YOUR BUSINESS NOW call by heading to www.HowToGetThereFaster.com. We aren’t selling you a thing.
Prospecting Mistake 5. Not doing enough research.
A little bit of research is essential because it allows you to personalize your outreach. However, that brings me to my next point…
Prospecting Mistake 6. Doing too much research.
A balance must exist. Sometimes small business owners like you will procrastinate by researching their prospects and getting as much information as they can before making a move. We have two clients who continually get in their own way by thinking that they have to have every answer to every question they ask… or don’t ask.
Prospecting Mistake 7. Focusing on “closing.”
I tell entrepreneurs to focus on opening instead of closing. Why? Because you could be the best closer in the world, but if nobody is in front of you, it doesn’t matter. If you ever read a sales book that told you to focus on the ABC’s of sales – meaning Always Be Closing – go get your money back.
I’ve found that a mediocre closer with a full pipeline can beat the pants off a great closer with an anemic pipeline. I know that one of our clients is going to read this, so I am leaving this message for her: It has everything to do with your list. If your list is big enough, the outcome with any one person on that list Now that you read it, call me, ok? You have my cell number.
Ok – now back to the rest of you.
Prospecting Mistake 8. Underestimating how many leads it will take to get a prospect.
Not too long ago, I had a private coaching client email me with a question about a direct mail campaign and he was shocked to learn that a good response rate for a mailing is around 1/2%.
He was expecting a response rate north of 10%. For that to happen, he would either need a highly qualified mailing list or he would have to be the greatest copywriter to ever live. That’s why numbers one, two and three above are so important.
Prospecting Mistake 9. Failing to adjust based on feedback.
There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback. Yet, it’s a mistake to get feedback and do nothing with it. This goes along with numbers 2 and 3 (again).
Prospecting Mistake 10. Trying to figure everything out themselves.
I created Small Business Marketing Plan along with the Group + Coaching Program to help small business owners shorten your prospecting learning curve.
I heard from many entrepreneurs who complained about all the problems with the so-called “training” material out there. For example, most prospecting material is tactical instead of strategic. There are hundreds of blogs. Countless podcasts. Endless videos, Yet, they only give little slivers of information at a time.
There was nothing comprehensive for business owners like you who want a roadmap to follow to establish and refine their prospecting process. Heck, in this blog you’ve gotten enough of the HOW TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL to actually be successful. If you are willing to take action now. If you want help, though… if you want to be held accountable and given guidance though… then maybe you’ll want to reach out to us.
We created the plan for you.
If all of this has not been enough, HERE ARE FIVE PROSPECTING TIPS YOU CAN USE IMMEDIATELY
I am writing this on Christmas Eve, and I’ve got Santa on the brain. He’s a client you know? Here’s the video to prove it:
Here is some prospecting advice from St. Nick himself…
Prospecting Advice Tip 1. Consider your personal brand when prospecting.
Santa is a master of branding. From his red suit and white beard to his jolly personality and the iconic “Ho ho ho,” Santa has created a strong and memorable brand that has stood the test of time.
As business owners, it’s important to also think about the image and message you want to convey to prospective clients. It would be a prospecting mistake to not as the question what makes you unique and sets you apart from the competition? How can you effectively communicate your brand to potential clients and establish trust and credibility?
Prospecting Advice Tip 2. Improve your client (and prospective client) services.
In our Private + Group Coaching Plan vault of videos, our coaching clients got an entire webinar about this topic because improving client service has a direct impact on prospecting effectiveness.
How? Because it gets you thinking about how you can streamline your processes and improve every part of your business. Santa’s delivery is faster than Amazon’s, and his customer service rating is also higher. 😊
Prospecting Advice 3. Build your network.
Santa is also a master of networking and building relationships. He has a vast network of elves, reindeer, and other helpers who assist him in his mission to deliver presents to children all around the world.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to also build your network of professionals and resources that can help you serve people effectively. This can involve forming partnerships with other business owners or professionals.
Prospecting Advice 4. Tell better stories.
Santa is a master of the power of storytelling.
Plus, the story of Santa Claus himself has been passed down for generations, and it’s a story that touches the hearts of people all around the world.
It’s important to think about the stories you can share with your clients to engage them and help them understand the value of your services. This can involve sharing success stories of past clients, explaining your industry’s complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand, or using anecdotes and examples to illustrate your points. It’s a huge prospecting mistake not to use stories.
Here’s an example. In our promotional product company, the artwork needed for promotional products is not the same as on your website or your social media. We are asking a solid, real surface to do the same work as your screen and it’s hard to understand. I came up with a great story to explain it to clients, based on the Troll Under The Bridge in the middle of the Artwork Forest.
There’s also the story about Santa’s Elves and how they make your Search Engine Optimization better. (We made a deal for our client Santa with Google to use the Elves excess work capacity. It made the Google search engine SO very much better than Bing, Yahoo and all of the others. Ask us about how it can work for you, too!)
Prospecting Advice 5: The core of most prospecting success comes from believing that you have something valuable to offer the marketplace
This is a mindset issue. It’s one of the very best things we do for you. Reach out and let’s talk.
Prospecting Advice 6. Make more lists.
Santa has a naughty and nice list. Good children get toys, and bad children get coal.
If you’re not proactively identifying the right and wrong people for your business, you are wasting a large chunk of your time.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you as you prepare to enter the new year is you should make a list of prospects and systematically approach them. Yes, I know this advice sounds simple, but the simplest advice often gets the best results. The “trick” is knowing how to structure your list and how to approach the people in that list. And for goodness sake, use a Customer Relationship Manager to make it all easier. Need help with that? Take us up on our offer in the next paragraph.
When it comes to making a prospecting mistake and creating strategies for your sales, we know that this is a challenge for most small business owners. The biggest challenge is that they want to get there faster. To help you get there faster, we would like to offer you a Free Marketing Consultation. Most small business owners, just like you, that take advantage of this conversation, report back that their free 30-minute success call was worth at least $10,000 in increased sales and savings to their bottom line. If you would like to get there faster, let’s begin our conversation by increasing your profits.
We’ll discuss where you are in your business right now – where you’d like to go – and how you might get there much more quickly without getting sucked into the vortex of conflicted advice floating around in the world and in your head. There’s nothing to buy on this diagnostic call. No gimmicks and no nonsense. That website to schedule your call is www.HowToGetThereFaster.com . Go there now!