Ten Rules for Sales Prospecting

Selling Radio with Pat Bryson

Many salespeople dread and avoid prospecting. While there is no “secret formula” to make it easy, the following are ten rules that can help make prospecting successful:

  1. Make an appointment with yourself. Discipline is required for successful prospecting.  Since it is so easy to put it off, make an appointment with yourself to prospect for one hour each and every day.
  2. Make as many calls as possible.  Research your target to be sure you reach the best prospects. This will insure that each call will be a high-quality call; and when you are dealing with quality, more is always better than less.
  3. Make your calls brief.  It is your objective to introduce yourself and to get an appointment. It should just take two or three minutes to do so. 
  4. Be prepared with a list of names.  Don’t waste your prospecting hour attempting to find out the names you need.  That might make you feel busy, but you won’t complete a lot of calls.
  5. Work without interruption. Prospecting, just as with any repetitive task, improves the more you do it.  After you get into the groove, take advantage of your momentum.
  6. Call during off-peak hours. Conventional wisdom says, “call between 9am and 5pm”. That doesn’t always work. Switch or supplement your calling hours and try calling between 8 to 9am or between 5-6pm.
  7. Vary your call times.  Everyone is a creature of habit, so prospects probably attend the same meeting every Monday at 10am.  If you cannot reach a prospect, learn from your lack of success and call at some other time or on another day.
  8. Be organized.  Keep a record of who you have called and when, and the subject you discussed.  It will help when you finally get an appointment, and it will also help keep track of whom you’re supposed to call back, and when.
  9. See the end before you begin.  Establish your goal, then develop a plan to get there.  If your goal is to set the appointment, your plan (your cold-call script) should be designed and redesigned to help you achieve your goal.
  10. Don’t stop. Persistence is a key skill every successful salesperson shares.  Remember that most sales are closed after the fifth call. Most salespeople quit after the first call!

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About The Author 

Pat Bryson is the founder of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with radio stations around the world to increase revenue by raising the skill level of their sales staffs. Her client list spans from the United States to Canada, Europe and Central Asia.

Pat has spent her entire career creating a culture of over-achievement for her stations. She began her career in radio sales, becoming one of the highest billing sales people in her market. Her career advanced to General Sales Manager, and then to Market Manager. Since starting BBI 7 years ago, she has helped hundreds of radio stations to find, train and grow great quality sales people and managers.

Pat was the recipient of two prestigious educational fellowships from the Educational Foundation of the National Association of Broadcasters: a fellowship to the Executive Development Program and a fellowship to the Broadcast Leadership Training Program.

She publishes the Bryson Broadcasting International Newsletter twice monthly and is a contributor to Valerie Geller’s latest book, Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator’s Guide To The Internet Age.

You may contact Pat at [email protected] or visit her website at http://www.patbryson.com.