The Importance of Prospecting

In order to grow your business and meet sales objectives, it is imperative that you know how to get, develop and maintain leads.

The best in the game have a sophisticated and efficient way of doing this but even those just starting out should have a desire to learn and apply the fundamentals of prospecting. Being able to prospect will make you a vital member of your organization and so it reasons that knowing what prospecting is and why it’s important is key to your success.

Before we get into how to prospect, it’s important to know what it actually means to be prospecting. Prospecting is the first step in your sales process and consists of identifying potential customers (aka prospects). The purpose of prospecting is to develop a database of potential customers and then systematically communicating with them with the intention to convert them from a prospect to an actual customer.

People from all walks of life prospect on a daily basis and often don’t even realize it. If you want to find the right house, you have to go prospecting. The same applies if you want to buy a new car, find the right college, meet the guy or girl. You get my point. The same applies to business and sales. If you want more customers and more revenue, you have to make it a point to prospect. 

For people who are in sales (which is all of us by the way), prospecting is finding a potential customer for your product or service. You have to create attention to what you offer because without attention, people won’t buy your product or service. I sell myself every day. Some might perceive that as arrogant, but I’m passionate about my message and what I have to teach, and I want people to know me. 

Prospecting is important because if customers don’t know who you are and what you offer, it doesn’t matter what your price range is, how great your service is or how great your product is.

It’s irrelevant because people simply aren’t thinking about you. The trick is to not just have clients, but high-quality clients. This is where I see a lot of salespeople go wrong.

Businesses don’t fail because they run out of money. They fail because they can’t consistently produce the right number of prospects quick enough that allows them to fund their initiatives. 

The biggest reason why a salesperson fails is because he or she has failed at finding qualified, prepared and able to buy customers. If you’re the greatest salesperson in the world with the greatest product and the greatest supply chain but don’t have people talking to you, reaching out to you or wanting to hear more about you, you’re finished. Have I gotten the point across of how important prospecting is yet?

I find that all people take 4 different approaches to prospecting.

In my opinion, and with methodical testing over time, I’ve found that only one approach works. 

1. No prospecting at all

What else is there to say? No one does a thing. 

2. Avoiding

This one is a head scratcher. I’ve seen people in sales and leadership actually avoid prospects when presented with an opportunity to speak to them.

3. Status quo

Doing what everyone else is doing and getting the results everyone else is getting.

4. All Star Activity

The only way that works and will put you ahead of everyone else.

Taking huge amounts of action alleviates all doubt. Whenever I’m in doubt about something, I take action. Of the 4 levels above, the worst kind of action is the 3rd one. People settle on being average. One of the biggest problems with organizations is that they hire too many people who simply want to do enough to get the job done. They find their purpose in doing things the same way as everyone else does them. 

To prospect like an all-star, you have to think like an all-star.

You want to be ever-present and have people constantly noticing you. You want to have people talking about you. You need to be online, at events, on social media and on TV. Those who do prospecting right, and there are plenty of them out there, charge a higher price for what they sell. 

One of the great things about prospecting well is that you’ll always have a full pipeline. You’ll be so full and your business will grow so much that you’ll be able to thrive in any economy. Instead of being dependent on the economy, you’ll create your own economy. Make your pipeline swell with prospects, people and opportunities. 

With the rapid advances we’ve had in technology, those industries that are dependent on foot traffic (malls and brick and mortar stores) are becoming a dying breed. Why? They’re hoping someone shows up. Malls are shutting down all over the world. The reason is simple. People have to find the time to drive there, find parking, walk around, find what they’re looking for and wait in line to buy. How much easier would it be if you generated your own traffic? How much more would your company value you if you were able to bring the business to them? 

I always try to generate my own traffic and have people call and ask for me. By doing so, they’re dependent on me, not the other way around. This is what we all should be aiming for. How do you do this? Only one way. Prospect and create your own traffic.

If I haven’t stressed it enough already, you will never hit your goals and be successful without prospecting.

Sadly, most people never embrace this. The giants of any industry have gigantic pipelines. Your job is to build relationships so that contacts become contRacts. You need buzz to generate traffic and opportunities, to get people talking about you and wanting to see you. Other than actually closing the sale, prospecting is the most important skill you should look to develop. And frankly, no matter how good you are at closing, you won’t have anything to close if you don’t have any prospects.

Head on over to www.wolfmillstone.com and let me show you how to reach the 1% of top salespeople in the world. That’s a bold statement but I wholeheartedly believe it’s possible. My proven strategic selling curriculum will teach you how to close more sales and make more money than any other program ever will.

Be something great. Do something great!

Wolf

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As a former VP of Sales in a Fortune 500 company, Wolf guides sales teams from a successful career in trust-based sales.

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