Do you have a strategic prospecting plan or will you just "wing it" again, like you often do? There are lots of reasons (err, I mean, excuses) for not planning ahead - it was a long weekend, you had people in town, you were busy.
You need to start planning during your prior work day for upcoming prospecting you'll be doing on the next business day. What? You were too busy?
Collegiate and professional athletes practice. A LOT. Broadway performers rehearse. A LOT. Who ever said sellers need not practice what it is they are saying that educates, informs, and helps buyers in their world? You think this just comes up naturally in your thought process? It doesn't!
To do this, plan ahead. Show up at your desk ready to go because you’ve thought through these questions in advance, and have a game plan in place. Stop being haphazard about sales. Selling is a profession, and it is an admirable profession that deserves your mindful and thoughtful approach to growing your territory. Your buyers deserve nothing but the best from you – this differentiates you as a professional rather than a “sales guy” or “sales gal”. It lobs you into the realm of becoming a trusted adviser or partner. (read the related post "The Power of Trusts in B2B Selling" here)
Here are the things you need to plan ahead with - strategically:
Who you will be contacting? You have names in your CRM, but are there others you are searching for? How can you methodically find new potential buyers?
How you will leave a positive impression? Pique their interest, or educate them on something they may not already know.
Know why you are reaching out. There has to be something you are adding of value to them in exchange for emailing or calling or connecting in some other way. Are you working with others in their industry? Do you work with others in their role (COO or CFO) that gives you expertise?
What will you say that sounds professional and worthy of their time to listen to? Have you timed your message? (note, I'm not saying "your pitch" - because a "pitch" is more about you then about them. Today's buyers need no interruption other than from someone who can add value - your message needs to be great and not "pitchy")
When will you follow-up, and how? Hopefully you will be leaving several different messages for your potential buyer - not just you name, company, and number - instead you will be letting this potential buyer know why you are calling. This is a "nurture campaign". The first message might be how you're working with their industry counterparts and reducing risk - then tell how. Next call might be about streamlining efficiency - then tell how. The third call - and these are spaced apart by days - speaks to the fact that in their role (CFO, for example), you understand many of their potential challenges since you're working with others in their industry and others in their role.
How will you track who you left voice mail messages for and who you didn't? Does your email go right into your CRM? That way you know when you emailed and what you said. You've got to do this so that you sound professional and when you follow-up, you are not scattered.
Answer these questions in advance, and watch your planning grow, and your results grow.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.