Posted by Steve Staccato

Mar 26, 2014 10:00:00 AM

sales_prospecting_mythsIf you find yourself dreading sales prospecting calls because of the string of “rejections” you’ll have to endure, help is on the way. You can recover your motivation—and enjoy your work more—by reframing your thoughts about what prospecting really is. Don’t fall for sales prospecting myths like these:

Myth #1: Prospecting is selling that often goes badly.

TRUTH: Although many sales professionals unfortunately fall for this myth, it’s really bunk. Prospecting is not selling. In many ways, it narrows the field for sales. Prospecting really bridges the gap between marketing and selling. You’re providing enough information through your messaging to help the prospect make a well-informed decision about spending more time with you BECAUSE they have a genuine interest in your product or service.  

Myth #2: Prospecting is a “numbers game.”

TRUTH: It depends. If you don’t have a proven prospecting process, see if any of this sounds familiar: lists, lists and more lists, hundreds of unreturned calls, emails, voicemails — with that occasional prospect who actually picks up the phone — which, by the way, only happens about 5-6% of the time. But, when they do, they’re usually busy doing other things, they weren’t expecting your call, don’t know who you are and didn’t wake up this morning wanting to buy your product or service.

Even if you can get them to talk to you — and you launch into a sales pitch, how do you think that conversation will end up? Most of the time, you won’t come out on top. My guess is that this sounds all too familiar. Is this a numbers game? Sounds like it to me. However, if you have a proven, repeatable, measurable prospecting process, it changes everything. Dramatically. You consistently use best practices, you track performance, you talk with decision makers interested in what you sell. In case you’re interested, FRONTLINE Selling is the leader in the prospecting optimization space.

Myth #3: Scripts are unnecessary for prospecting.

TRUTH: Salespeople often confuse “scripts” as being too confining. The issue isn’t the script, but the person delivering the script. A Grammy Award-winning vocalist sings the exact same song the exact same way every time with the same passion and conviction as they did the first time. An Oscar Award-winning actor is 100% scripted, but embodies that script to live and breathe the character while delivering that script. A football team scripts plays to ensure they execute flawlessly. The same goes for prospecting. Without a defined messaging (a script) that encompasses your value proposition, you’re flying by the seat of your pants — and all the salespeople in your organization are on a different plane! (See Myth #2) 

Myth #4: The gatekeeper is your worst enemy.

TRUTH: This person can actually be your biggest ally. Approached in the right manner, the administrative assistant can help you navigate quickly and directly to key decision-makers. Treat the administrative assistant as your tour guide rather than an obstacle you must defeat, and you’ll be surprised at the results.  

Myth #5: The goal of prospecting is to set up as many appointments as possible.

TRUTH: When it comes to prospecting, your goal must be to set up appointments with key decision makers who are genuinely interested in your products and services. Don’t ever lose sight of that goal. 

For help getting more first appointments with the right people, contact FRONTLINE Selling today. It could be the most impactful decision you make for your company this year.