Sales is more than just a numbers game; success comes from finding and keeping high quality clients. Internationally respected business expert and bestselling sales author Ian Altman knows that your approach new client prospects is integral for lasting relationships and revenue growth.
In a recent Forbes article, Altman provides guidance and insight on how you can best approach new clients. Here are some highlights:
Unfortunately, most new sales professionals aren’t taught the correct way to approach prospects. Usually the advice they get sounds something like this: make more calls, send more emails, get more appointments, close more deals. Not only is this advice unhelpful, it can frustrate a sales rep’s efforts because it only focuses on volume not quality. The underlying assumption is that if salespeople make more calls, they’ll book more appointments and, as a result, close more deals. It’s a numbers game, sales managers say. That’s the wrong approach. If you just keep bugging people, you are likely to annoy your potential customers.
Whether you’re new to sales, or a seasoned professional, knowing the fundamentals of prospecting is important. Here are the key components of an effective prospecting strategy that will yield more quality leads and better results.
The biggest problem I see when it comes to prospecting is lack of preparation. Too many sales people approach potential clients without a plan. They don’t know what their goals are or how to reach them; they simply pick up the phone and start dialing. They think the more phone calls they make, the better their chances of securing a meeting that might turn into a sale. It’s what I call the “spray and pray” method of prospecting. It simply doesn’t work.
Focus Your Efforts
When you reach out to a prospect (or when one reaches out to you), many salespeople feel that their goal is to get a meeting. However, getting a meeting should not be the goal of an initial inquiry. Rather, your goal is to determine the “fit” between the customer’s needs and the problems you’re good at solving. You need to qualify potential prospects’ fit so you know you’re investing your time with the right people.
Sometimes a prospect is a good fit from your perspective, but they may be reluctant to meet with you because they don’t realize that you are in a great position to help them. They may have questions or objections. You need to be prepared for those questions and objections in advance.
Here’s an eye-opening statistic: 80 percent of sales are made in the follow-up. Follow-up is critical to your success. The key to follow-up is that it has to be done within 24 hours of contact. Why? Because time kills deals. If you’re not actively following up within a day, then you just wasted your time on the outreach. You’ve waited too long.
So, the days you have calls scheduled, make a note to follow-up either that afternoon or the next morning. Schedule your time accordingly because it will make a difference in your bottom line.
Read the full article here.