The Science of Prospecting
The science of prospecting is just that-- a science. Quite often, prospecting is one skill that doesn’t get enough focus or attention. However, it’s important to lay the proper foundation to prospect effectively.
Prospecting is not just about finding people who are willing to see a demo of your service, but about finding people who have a need and ability to buy your service.
Out of a group of a thousand prospects, you will find that they can typically be classified into 3 types:
The Three Buying Types
Being in sales you have to realize that you’ll get 20% of your sales no matter what you do. Eventually you’ll reach out to enough prospects to stumble across a prospect who knows they need what you’re offering and want it. As long as you’re not a total Sales-Jabroni, you’ll land these prospects. Hands down these are your best buyers. Unfortunately, there won’t be enough of them to hit your quota.
Then there is 50% of prospects that you’re not going to get. Sometimes they don’t qualify for your service, there are internal changes at the target business, or maybe they simply don’t want it. Here’s a scary figure, but one that rears it’s ugly head over and over again- Virtually all underperforming salespeople spend 80% of their time going after Red Lights. To put it another way; if the world’s greatest boat salesperson were to call me right now and try to sell me a boat, I’m not going to buy a boat. I don’t care how good he or she is.
When you encounter Red Lights - move on. They may buy from you one day, but as of now there are better prospects to reach out to.
That brings us to...
The last 30% is up for grabs. These are your fence sitters. They qualify for your service and have a need for it, but for one reason or another they have not made the decision to take time out and fix their problem. The more you develop your sales skill and competitive edge the better you’ll be able to expedite their decision making process. That is truly your job as a salesperson- To expedite the decision making process.
Your job is not to try to twist somebody’s arm into buying your service when they shouldn’t. To become an A salesperson you need to be able to identify a prospect as a great fit for you service and then build enough value and urgency to get them to take action and buy. The ability to convert Yellow Lights into buyers is where the great salespeople separate themselves from the mediocre ones.
The bulk of our job as salespeople is finding the right prospect at the right time. As you go through your day, keep the concept of Green, Red, and Yellow Lights top of mind. Soon you’ll find yourself spending most of your time with "buyers only" and then you’ll have that big fat pipeline all salespeople dream of.