What comes to mind when you hear the words “sales prospecting?” Some salespeople express disdain, using negative phrases such as “nails on the chalkboard,” “school of hard knocks,” and “pain and suffering.” Other people identify important words involved in the sales prospecting process, such as researching and contacting prospects.
Another word that is commonly associated with sales prospecting is “hunting.” Much like a hunter, you arm yourself with facts about what your company offers and take careful aim at researched prospects so you can hopefully make a killing. However, there are problems with sales prospecting from a hunting perspective: it’s too time-consuming and unreliable. That’s why you should think of sales prospecting, not as hunting, but as farming. Let’s use tomato farming as our example.
The Story of a Tomato
When you prepare to plant tomatoes in your garden, you till the ground and make a fertile place to plant your seeds.This is very similar to the process of sales prospecting. You start by researching potential leads, then you contact the right people, calling from the top down (the CEO, the COO, the CXO, etc.), basically “planting seeds.” Once these tomato seeds have been planted, you have to nurture them with a few drops of water every couple of days. This is the contacting portion of sales prospecting. It’s not completely time-consuming the way hunting is (hammering the phones with the notion that each “no” brings you closer to a “yes”). Instead, it’s leaving a few voicemails, sending a few emails, or speaking with a company’s administrative assistant every couple of days.
Farming allows you to build a rapport with your leads. Basically, you’re watching your garden grow!
To learn more about successful sales prospecting, please contact FRONTLINE Selling today.
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