Sunday, July 22, 2012

Prospecting - It Needs to be a Habit

Recently I overheard a salesperson say “I’d rather clean the office bathrooms than prospect” and it got me thinking about why prospecting has such a bad rap. More importantly why average salespeople procrastinate and find excuses not to prospect.

A sales funnel is a precious thing that too many salespeople take for granted. It is the beginning of the sales process and without a beginning there can be no successful ending. Knowing that why is it that salespeople resist prospecting to start the sales process? Better yet what can salespeople do to make prospecting less painful?

The best way to answer these questions is to examine the habits of serially successful salespeople to understand what they do and how they do it. There is always more than enough in their pipeline every month for them to achieve and over achieve their quota. They understand the importance of adding to their sales funnel and “book” time in their calendar everyday to do quality prospecting.

Prospecting is hard work. Prospecting effectively takes dedication. Prospecting is a requirement for sales success and needs to be a habit.

It is the concept of a structured day that most average salespeople ignore. They intend to prospect for 1 or 2 hours every morning but allow any and all interruptions to distract them from this commitment. Maybe a current client called with a billing issue, or an existing prospect emailed a question about the proposal sent two weeks ago. Whatever the excuse that is all it is, an excuse to not prospect.

Do you put off prospecting for any other activity? Would you rather clean a bathroom than pick up the phone a make a cold call? What do you do to make prospecting more bearable or fun? Feel free to add your comments!


  1. Every person I meet is an opportunity for brand exposure. I've done a lot of cold calling in my past and it can be difficult. It's important to stay positive no matter how negative an experience may be. You never know when that huge sale will come from the call you almost didn't do because you wanted to leave work early.

    Personally I try to use "no's" as a chance to ask further questions and build a relationship that one day might (and hopefully will), turn into a yes! :)

    1. Love the positive attitude Apryll, I couldn't agree with you more!

      Many times I have turned "no's" and "not now's" in to long term clients. The key is to not take their objections or resistance personally.