I’ve said it many times, and will continue to say it: prospecting is the most significant thing that separates top producers from everyone else.
Prospecting is the key. Prospecting has always been the key. It’s the reason 20 percent of sales reps do 80 percent of the business, and why in some companies, 10 percent make 90 percent of the sales. Prospecting separates the great from the good.
If you want to make more money, prospect like your life depends on it. Consider prospecting to be a mindset, a way of life and a fundamental part of your company’s culture. When things are going well and you’re closing so many sales you can hardly keep up, you still need to carve out at least a little time for prospecting.
But unfortunately, prospecting is not easy. It comes with rejection. It takes a lot of time and requires sales pros to manage conflicting thoughts and actions at the same time. That’s why a recent article I read this week jumped out at me: “The Eight Prospecting Paradoxes That Cause Selling Schizophrenia” by Keith Rosen.
Here are Rosen’s eight paradoxes you must overcome in order to prospect effectively:
- You want the sale, but you must detach from the outcome, since the sale is not the initial goal of prospecting.
- You want the prospect to take the next step in your sales process. but you have to qualify them first to see if there’s even a fit worth pursuing.
- You want the prospect to buy from you but must learn to give value unconditionally, whether or not they buy or meet with you.
- You want to deliver and push through your presentation but you must get the prospect’s permission even before you present.
- You need to keep your eye on your objective while staying in the present moment during every prospecting conversation.
- You want to make more money and achieve greater success in your career but you have to make the sales process about the prospect, instead of you, in order to do so.
- You want to sell to each prospect you speak with but need to qualify them to see if you even want them as a customer.
- You want to lead with solutions, but you need to lead every conversation with questions to best understand every prospect’s point of view.
Now that you are aware of these prospecting paradoxes, think about what you have to do to make sure your mind is in the right place to handle them.
Remember, success or failure in sales ultimately comes down to prospecting. If you prospect perpetually and enthusiastically, you’ll likely succeed. If you cheat on prospecting, you will likely fail.