Prospecting 101 – Part 2

Peady’s Selling Engagement

Last time I talked about prospecting basics which generated some great feedback. My suggestion on using the phone rather than emails caused several people to tell me they disagree. That’s fine, if emails work for you, keep doing it, however in my experience the phone is the better way to discover key points, conduct an initial qualification and secure meetings.

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

Prospecting is a learned skill. It needs a plan and practice.  It can be challenging for new and experienced sales people but like it or not it’s a selling basic. The late Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker said; “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better”. FYI Jim was mentor to the brilliant Tony Robbins, so he knew a thing or two!

Getting better

You can improve your sales outcomes by improving your prospecting. Here’s a few more ideas to go with the six that I previously shared.

7. Warm calls beat cold calls every time. Warm calls are those to people you know (or who know you andyour company). Often sourced from referrals, networking and your lapsed customer database.

8. Ask the ‘right’ questions. At the initial qualifying stage, you need to uncover the key issues that resonate with your potential customer. By asking well thought out questions based on research and focussed on genuine business needs you can quickly establish next steps.

9. Differentiate yourself. Every day prospects are bombarded with emails, phone calls and ‘drop-ins’ from ‘reps’ making all kinds of claims and focussed on product selling. By positioning yourself as a consultant focussed on the customer’s needs you’ll stand out and gain a competitive advantage.

10. Tell them WHY you are calling and make it compelling! This ‘moment of truth’ is the difference between the call continuing or being terminated. Every potential customer you contact needs to be given a clear and relevant reason such as “Hi Mr Smith, this is Rob Jones at XYZ Company. How’ve you been?  The reason I’m calling is to alert you to a couple of broken links I discovered on your website traffic…..” 

Customers in the making

Prospects, whether they buy today or a year from now are at the core of your sales success and your ability to bring in new business is a crucial skill. Without a pipeline of prospects, there’s little chance for short or long-term growth.


Prospecting is just one step

In selling it doesn’t come down to a single thing, it comes down to a combination of things, primarily skills and personal attributes. Chris Orlob explores ‘the limiting factors’ that can hold you back in a terrific post I found recently.

So, here’s the challenge. Work on your prospecting basics to develop a pipeline and then apply the skills required to gain your successful outcome.
Until next week. Good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]