Does this sound familiar? I’ve hired a new sales rep and though they are doing a lot of “stuff”; they aren’t bringing in new business? If you’re like most business owners, partners, or sales managers, this sounds very familiar.
In fact many people I speak with and work with say the exact same thing; they’ve spent thousands of dollars on salaries and benefits with their sales reps and have not received an ROI. Again, this is very frustrating and very costly; especially when you are watching every dollar being spent.
So how do you fix this dilemma? Well, I’m not going into a recruiting process here but I am going to ask you to focus on the end result that you are trying to achieve. What is it; more business, new clients, higher profit margins, bigger accounts? You know what I’m talking about. With that in mind, instead of focusing on the end results; a number or a goal, you need to focus on the prospecting activities needed to be successful in your business? Is it cold-calling, email campaigns, direct-mail, tradeshow visits, networking events, etc? What does your data show? Do you have data to know what activities need to be done in order to bring in new business?
Bottom line; you need to know that it is a combination of all of these activities and that no “one-size-fits-all” solution will work. This means you need to have someone who can do all of these; or as many as possible, on a consistent daily basis to bring in new business; and never stop the momentum.
And there lies the secret; the magic formula, the secret sauce; consistency. Doing the right consistent behaviors over time WILL produce results. How much results you may ask? Well, you won’t know that until you determine the activities, track your activities, and measure your data.
Stop spending tens of thousands of dollars on hiring the wrong sales person and stay focused on consistent activities being completed on a daily basis. Track those activities as to what’s completed against the goal and then measure your results.
You don’t need a sales rep; you need to grow your business (revenue, # of customers, profitability, less costs) so focus on the consistent prospecting activities to bring the results you need.
For more information on how you or your people can learn how not to make these same mistakes, save thousands of dollars, and get the results you were looking for; sign up for our Power Prospecting Workshop Series and quickly get the new business you need. http://centrello.com/events/
Did you know there is a three-part process when it comes to finding new clients? First is knowing who the decision maker is; second is reaching them; and finally, knowing what to say once you have their ear. Oh, and this has nothing to do with having the ability to sell or not. That’s right, when it comes to finding new clients, all it takes is a consistent process with a focused discipline and not a great personality or a convincing and persuasive sales pitch.
Let’s start with step number one. To find a new client, you need to “reach them” – meaning, you need to find a way to talk to them. If you look at everything going on out there in the world of generating new leads, you will see this is where most time, energy, effort and money is spent; getting the right person to want to talk to you. In fact, you may be of the belief that “if I can just get in front of the decision-maker, I can sell them.” Think about it, what is the intent behind your email blasts, direct mail campaigns, social media campaigns, cold calls, radio, tv, and tradeshows, etc? It’s about trying to get someone to talk to you and it’s very expensive.
Okay, so first, who is THE decision-maker? How do you know? How can you find out? Where do you go to find out? Who do you ask? What type of research have you done? Second, how can you reach them, if at all? Yes, you can reach them and each decision-maker has their own protection system, but you need to know why they would ever want to talk to you. Again, it’s not about you, your product, or your service – yet.
Third, once you get the opportunity to talk to the decision-maker, this may be your only chance at bat and swing. What do you say to them that makes them want to engage with you? Maybe you already have this part down and you’re blowing your numbers out of the water. If not, here’s proof if what you’re saying to them is engaging them: do they call you back? That’s it. If you’ve said something in a voicemail or they read something on the internet about you that makes them want to engage, then you’re on the right track.
Want to find out how to find the decision-maker and get them to call you back? Please call us for a conversation to see what you can do to find new clients.
Three-Part Prospecting Process
Can you really turn around your company and business development efforts through cold calling? Absolutely. Here’s proof. Are you cold calling today? If not, then start? If you are and not getting results, then change your script. You probably sound like everyone else. It shouldn’t take a lot of research on the account or person you’re calling because you shouldn’t be trying to sell anything on the first call. If you are, then stop because everyone else is already doing that one. If you want to be more successful, you need to stop doing what you’re competition is doing.
Again, I still get asked if cold calls work or not? Let’s use an example, if you needed to have an appointment tomorrow morning what would be the quickest way to get one. If you like to make onsite visits, you’re only going to get to so many accounts in a day. If you use email, you’ll have to wait to hear back from someone. I typically hear cold calling is dead because of linkedin, twitter, facebook, and email however it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, I would guess the ones making those statements probably haven’t made a cold call for any significant length of time.
Prospecting and business development is a high contact sport and it takes multiple touches to be successful. These must be consist touches over time to achieve the great results you expect. Also, be realistic with your time frame. Don’t expect a lot all at once. Just be consistent every day with your prospecting activities and you’ll get the results you thought was possible.
Remember, “the person who was an overnight success took about 25 years to get there.” ~Unknown
For everyone who says cold calling is dead I say; thank you and please keep it up. You’re efforts are helping our clients out tremendously. So build your list, pick up the phone, and start dialing. I promise you that someone is out there waiting for you to call them right now.
No matter what sport you watch; there is always a scoreboard. When it comes to systems and processes; measurements are needed to ensure the system and process are performing else the results could be very costly. The same is needed when it comes to prospecting for new clients. Remember the old cliché of “anything worth doing is worth measuring?” That’s what I’m talking about and it is true for prospecting as well.
Be sure to develop a system; an excel spreadsheet will suffice just fine if you don’t have one of those fancy systems that can do all of this for you. Be sure to track things that can be measured within your prospecting activities. If you can’t track it, stop doing it because you’re wasting time. For example, you want to make sure you track the number of dials you make; voicemails left, decision-makers talked to, call backs, wrong number, cold-call visits, networking events attended, emails sent (only those followed up with a phone call), direct mail pieces sent (only those followed up with a phone call) and of course free talks or speaking engagements. There are others however when you’re down in the field trying to bring in the deals; these are the most common.
Activities that are not prospecting activities include; researching a company, organizing business cards, getting ready to talk, or planning your day or week. I’ve worked with a lot of clients who see these activities as prospecting activities however all these activities do is keep you from doing what needs to get done to put yourself in front of your next potential big client. They are time wasters. Stop getting ready to prospect and make it happen.
Activities such as sending out direct mail pieces, putting up a website, blogging, using social media, or advertising through radio, billboard, or newspaper, are activities that you have no control over the results and are not the prospecting activities I’m talking about in this article.
Remember, you need to track the best of use of your time. Your time used throughout the day must be effective in that you can do all of the activities that put you in front of your next potential client. Waiting for the phone to ring is not an activity that will produce results and neither is organizing and planning. You’ve heard me say it before that Nike has the best slogan; “Just Do It.”
For a sample of a prospecting plan, please visit our website and download a free copy at www.centrello.com/products.
This is the number one complaint I hear about when it comes to prospecting. Are you unable to get past the gatekeeper? Are they blocking your efforts by thinking that they are the decision-maker for the company by saying, “no, we’re not interested?” I mean, how do they know the C-Level you’re calling on isn’t interested in your product or service? Especially when you didn’t even get a chance to tell them who you are or what you do right?
I remember in one of my workshops that someone told me how he got past the gatekeeper. He would actually wait for the receptionist to get up and go to the bathroom and then go in. Now, I’m not suggesting that at all however I wanted to recognize the efforts people will go through because of their own drive and will to succeed.
Getting past the gatekeeper can be a really challenging ordeal for some and even frustrating; especially if you have your sales manager on your back to set appointments.
I’m hoping this tiny little tidbit can help. Ready? Here it is. Change your perspective on how you see the gatekeeper. Don’t see them as blocking your way anymore. See them as a part of the process that will actually open more doors for you than you could ever imagine and. You need the relationship with them first before you can get in the door.
And here’s how:
Bottom line is you need to build a relationship with the gatekeeper as if they are the owner or the contact you are trying to reach. If they act like the owner, then treat them like the owner. Typically, they will pass you off if they see or feel you’re different than the rest calling on them.
Give it a try. You can’t lose anything you don’t have and good luck prospecting!
How can you generate business leads while marketing and selling your products and services? Well, there is a difference between all three of these and if you get them confused, your success rate will drastically decline. Let’s start with marketing. Marketing is the tasks that “educate” your marketplace about your products or services. Selling is the task of putting those products or services into the hands of your marketplace. So what is lead generation? Lead generation is the consistent behaviors done over time to product successful results. To tie this all together we’ll look at it from this viewpoint. While your company is marketing through its website, trade shows, radio and newspaper ads, TV commercials, and social media; what are the controllable and measurable activities you’re doing to get yourself in front of your next potential client? These would be activities such as making phone calls, sending emails and direct mail followed-up with calls, attending a networking event with the purpose to get one new business card of someone who potentially needs your products or service because they said so. Did you notice the difference there? Just because you put up a website does not mean that you are prospecting for new business. Many people confuse marketing (branding efforts) with lead generation. Lead generation is the physical activity that you do and track on a daily basis. If you are doing it, it can be measured. If you can’t measure it, you shouldn’t be doing it. For example, how many calls do you plan to make each day? Plan it, do it, and then adjust your plan. Develop your plan, execute your plan, track your activities, and adjust your plan. So, instead of marketing your business, go out generate new leads for your business. Go make five cold call visits or calls every day next week. Watch how your results improve. It has to happen and it will happen as long as you believe in your product or service, you believe in your company, AND, you believe in your abilities. If any of those are missing, your performance and your results will be lacking. Figure out which of those three are amiss and work on it; quickly. If you don’t see it, you may consider a coach to provide you another perspective. If so, call us and we’ll have a conversation and help you or your team get moving and be accountable. Help yourself by asking for help.
The majority of the conversations we have with clients and prospects usually goes something like this; “We know what we need to do to get new business, but…. “And then I hear about all the reasons why their company isn’t growing. The part that gets me is; they accept it. They know why they aren’t growing, they know what they should be doing, and they don’t take the next steps to do anything about it. Now I’m not saying this is your case however if it is or sounds familiar, then please read on.
So how do you feel about this?
So you see how it all comes down to you? You and only you are responsible for achieving what you want to achieve; however to do so, you’re going to have to do some activities you don’t believe in; you’re not comfortable with; or you just don’t have the time to do. These are the types of activities that should be very specific and tracked daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly and work on getting you in front of someone who may buy your product or service. You should know what activities or combinations of activities bring in new business to the point where you know exactly where to make a small tweak or adjustment. It should not take a major change unless the activities are small or non-existent in the first place.
Do you want to see where you personally stand on new business development and increasing your sales revenue? Take our end of Self Check on New Business Development Prospecting Activities:
If you’ve been honest with yourself and say, wow, I don’t have the time or I don’t like doing some of the activities that needs to get done; no worries. You’re with most of the population responsible for new business development. Awareness is a huge piece to change however the next step of making the decision to change. Experience has shown that it may make sense to have someone on your side to show you a way through the uncharted or uncomfortable waters of prospecting. Be sure to have someone in your corner that knows this business and has the results to show. The results come from the activities they’ve completed. Ask them to show the evidence of their behaviors and the results that came from the behaviors accomplished. If they can’t and you’re unable to find the right person or persons on your teams, then may I suggest calling us for a conversation? It may not go anywhere and that’s ok; however, you may find something within our conversation that was the piece you were looking for to grow new business for your company.
Bottom line; prospecting will bring your business new customers. End of story. You may be able to “wing-it” at times however it’s the focused consistency that brings measurable results. A plan is needed and then the resources are needed to execute the plan. It cannot have a “quick hit” approach. It needs to be a concerted effort with various prospecting behaviors working in unison providing multiple touches to your marketing place.
To know the truth about your prospecting efforts; just ask yourself, are you happy with your results? What will happen to your business if these results continue? In those answers lies the truth to what’s really going on. Face it, live up to it, make a decision to do something about it, and then make it happen.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or frustrations about your prospecting efforts and are unable to uncover new business the way you believe you should; call us. Let’s talk to see if you can grow your business by doing things a little different.
It seems in my experience that people are looking for immediate results when they prospect and get discouraged quickly when they don’t close a deal. You need to behave on a daily basis for a long period of time to produce results. It takes a plan and a focused discipline to execute the plan. There’s nothing magically delicious about prospecting. You just have to do it else face the consequences.
So, if you truly have an unwavering belief there are people or companies out there who “need” your product or service; please read on. Let’s review the above bullets in a little more detail and see what’s really going on in these cases.
It has been known that not everyone enjoys prospecting for new business. Can you belief that? I know it seems crazy but it is true. What is your perspective on prospecting for new business? Because your perspective is the truth and may actually be holding you back from your own success when it comes to finding new clients.
Do any of these sound familiar?
If any of these sound familiar within your business; you are losing prospective clients; GUARANTEED! How much more can your company take of not building a new client base? What is the cost of having people who are supposing to be building new clients and are not getting results? How long can your business withstand this during these economic times? These are tough questions for the serious business owner or sales person.
The bottom line is; you need to have an unwavering belief that there are clients in your marketplace that need your products or service. If you don’t have this, the following is going to be hard to swallow. If you do have this; then prospecting is a priority within your company today and you understand the benefits.
Come back next month when we start to discuss overcoming each barrier listed above.
To know the truth about your prospecting efforts and if you’re doing the right behaviors; just ask yourself, are you happy with your results? What will happen to your business if these results continue? In those answers lies the truth to what’s really going on. Face it, live up to it, make a decision to do something about it, and then make it happen.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or frustrations about your prospecting efforts and are unable to uncover new business the way you believe you should be; call us. Let’s talk. We can’t promise we can help however we can at least point you in a direction.