We will be talking about phone-based prospecting all week this week, for a couple of reasons.
1. It is a component of nearly every business model – just isn’t executed well in many companies.
2. There are many myths and misunderstandings about prospecting by phone.
3. Many sellers could make minor to major changes in their weekly schedule for much bigger results. Many business owners want prospecting to happen but do not create an environment to make that happen on a consistent basis.
When I wanted to be a better public speaker, I joined Toastmasters International. To this day, there is no other organization with the specific focus of speaking and leadership that this group offers, in such an approachable way with such meeting options. Toastmasters keeps you sharp, and on target. People who regularly attend can speak on their feet, extemporaneously, and grow to have such confidence in the power of the word.
Like Toastmasters, phone-based prospecting is one of the best ways to stay sharp – to know the value that you bring and help you fine-tune how you present what differentiates you and your organization. Despite rumor of its demise, is not dead. It is a component of many B2B sales efforts. The challenge is in HOW you put phone-based prospecting to work for you.
I am not talking about cold calling from a phone directory or grand list – i am talking about contacting targeted, more probable prospective customers who may be in the same industry as other clients of yours, or in a demographic profile that makes sense. Targeted to those who would fit as a good customer, they have the characteristics of a good possible match.
When you call them, you are simply getting information about how probable it is that they fit what you do well, that you might be of service to them, and that you could even help them reduce costs, increase their revenues, or benefit them in some other dramatic way.
So, this is not a sales call – it is a call to determine a contact, and verify your hunches based on what you’ve found on their website or heard from an alliance or referral partner. If you immediately gain a connection to the “stranger” on the other end of the call – that’s fantastic. My clients do that more often than one might believe. But they also know how to move on – move forward and make good use of their very valuable calling time – part of a limited, busy day where they support customers, and always have an eye open to the next opportunities headed their way.
Want a tip sheet for successful phone prospecting? Email me (see the “contact”link at the top of this post), or contact me through Score More Sales.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about specifics – the how to, and whys.