3 Tips To Take (Some Of) The Pain Out Of Prospecting

Let’s face it — hunting down potential customers who fit your target market, figuring out how to attract these people and converting them into qualified prospects is challenging.

A big reason for this difficulty is the number of mistakes that sales reps make when prospecting. Here are three errors that are easy to make and, fortunately, fairly simple to fix. 

  1. Not following-up enough: Studies show that it takes a certain number of successful interactions (called “touches”) with prospects in order for them to take notice of a sales rep. This research varies on the exact number of touches required, ranging anywhere from five to eight. Regardless of the specific number, it’s clear that sales reps must make many attempts before the potential buyer actually engages. Here’s the problem: The average rep rarely tries enough times, attempting only once or twice to make contact with a prospect. The solution is simple: Reps need to invest more time on attempted touches. 

  2. Selling too early: Your organization may have the best products and services, but prospects don’t care. Prospecting is not the time to brag about your stuff; it’s the time to help people identify and solve their problems. Many sales professionals make the mistake of selling too early in the process rather than asking simple, targeted questions to identify the potential buyer’s problems. Prospecting is about exploration, not selling. Show the prospect that you understand their issues and then work to find solutions. 

  3. Lack of diverse channels: Limiting your prospecting efforts to one or two methods of communication — commonly called “channels” — is a huge mistake. Move beyond phone calls and emails by using social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter. At the same time, don’t overlook traditional methods, such as door-to-door contacting or hand-written letters. Also consider speaking at conferences, attending trade shows or creating online videos.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Finding qualified people to sell to is not an easy process. It’s demanding, time-consuming and often disheartening. Getting the door slammed in your face (both in “real life” and online) isn’t anybody’s idea of a good time. However, avoiding these common mistakes helps to make the process more successful. Remember, the key is persistence and planning. 

Want to learn more great prospecting tips? Download our tip sheet, “7 Best Practices Of Prospecting Pros.”

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