Prospecting is the process by which a salesman gets new customers. Prospecting is one of the most challenging components of sales process. A wise salesman knows that there are some Do’s and Don’ts of successful prospecting developed by veterans in the area of selling. These are:
DO’S OF PROSPECTING
1. Make a Time Schedule:
Prospecting is generally expected to account for about 20 percent of the salesman’s time, while different sales positions vary in their requirements. This allocation say equal to a day or a week, is difficult for many sales people. X’s reason may be private fear of rejection. Y’s reason may be simple forgetfulness. Sometimes, sales people just become so consumed by day-to-day urgent demands that the important tasks are left undone. Finally, prospecting success banks on the principle of Activity” – if you do not contact new prospects on a regular basis, then you will not generate obviously many new customers. The bottom-line, here is simple: “Keep moving.” If you want to enjoy long-term sales-success, then you will have made a regular effort to contact new customers – no matter how painful the effort is.
2. Take it Step by Step:
Salesman is not expected to make customers on his first visit. In fact, it is generally unwise to solicit an actual sale over the telephone. The initial goal of many prospecting calls is to get the customer’s persuasion to send him or her piece of correspondence, some information about the company or to call back at time that is more convenient. Successful prospectors establish a specific, short-term goal, and then aim to achieve it and only it. Taking this step-by-step approach makes prospecting a daunting task. It is much easier to ask some one for persuasion to stay in touch than it is to request a meeting forgetting a commitment to buy. Getting that permission still requires the essential skills getting to the point quickly, for demonstrating the potential value to the customer, but sales person will be much less likely to delay if sales person sticks with manageable goals.
3. One is to be Enthusiastic:
A straight or flat uninteresting message delivered in a soft, continuous voice is more unwisely to generate much prospecting success. As a rule’s the sales person is to keep prospecting calls upbeat, attractive to the prospect and forced on fulfilling the missing of the call. Prospecting calls can be upkeep and attractive by offering value – the things the prospective interested in. These must be geared towards building commonly at the outset.
4. Be a Careful Listener:
Another key to prospecting success lies in listening skills. Sales people need to listen extremely well while driving towards their own goals, striking a balance between empathy and focus. If sales person appears more concerned about attaining his goals than about what the prospect has to say, sales person come across as pushy and unattractive. Focused instead on the prospect’s interests and situation at the tune of the call, so that the sales person can get his or her needs. Such empathy goes a long way towards establishing rapport, a seem of reciprocity and untimely, the potential for a long-term customer relationship.
5. Be Able to Deal with Rejection:
Prospecting implies soliciting the business from people who are essentially strangers. Therefore, it is not surprising that sales people frequently face rejection. As rejection is a unique and painful experience, the ability to deal with rejection that is to remain persistent and focused & critical to prospecting success.
6. Plan Your Sales Conversation:
The success of a steel heating is determined in the first few seconds of the actual contact with the prospect. Therefore, it is important that salesman plans his conversation well ahead of time. The possible key questions to be asked as a part of conversation are:
i. What salesman knows about the prospect on the basis of which he can start his conversation?
ii. What a particular prospect has in common with his other clients?
iii. What he knows about this contact?
iv. Why he is calling?
v. Can his organization help the prospect and in what way?
vi. Are there tier contacts to mention?
vii. What sort of needs is of this prospect?
viii. What are his calls of future needs?
ix. What question will he ask?
x. What objectives might prospect raise, and what will be his response?
DON’TS OF PROSPECTING
Veterans in sales field have given some Don’ts of prospecting. These are to be respected more than Do’s.
1. Don’t launch into a Monologue:
Generally, it takes a few seconds for a prospects hearing and thinking to catch up with sales person’s speech. Therefore, even though the first movements of a call are the most valuable that is the point where the prospect form an opinion of salesman and he has to offer – be sure of start the conversation units broad statements. Focus in making a favourable impression and the prospect interest in hearing more before you launch into the body of your presentation. Give se prospect true to catch up with salesman and then to start a two-way conversation.
2. Don’t make Outrageous Claims:
Making excessively bold claims can give the prospect points to argue and put salesman on the defence. Being confident is one thing, but arrogant statements are sure to delineate the prospect. Instead of saying say, “I know I can”, for instance, it is better to say something like “I am very confident that we can…………. “. That is, the sales person should take the prospect into confidence.
3. Don’t sound Canned in Conversation:
In a cold call or prospecting, salesman wants to appear quite genuine, helpful and direct, consultant, salesman should not use canned conversation; it sounds insincere and does not carry much meaning. One way of avoiding such conversation is to vary his sales pitch frequently. It is also valuable to rehearse the opening of salesman’s prospecting call to the point where it sounds as natural as possible. Some sales-people use a tape recorder to review their love and voice. They practice this until they can hear themselves sounding natural, yet controlled and focused.
4. Don’t be Curt:
Wise salesman never burns bridges. Sometimes, salespeople are over abrupt or curt with the personnel who are answering the phone on behalf of the targeted prospect. Finally, these front line individuals can be critical allies in salesman’s efforts to win business, it is wise to treat them accordingly. That is, it is the courtesy and modesty with meekness that helps in getting better prospecting.
5. Don’t Use Business Jargon:
Prospective customers are turned off by representative who uses excusive jargon and excusive technical language. It is true that a sales person’s organization or his industry has is own terminology one that might not universally applicable. A word has different meanings in different situations or lines. Thus, the word “insult” in medical terms means ‘damage’ and not ‘insult’ as is understood; again, the word ‘local’ means ‘partial’ and local as is understood. That is why, one should be sure to speak at the customer’s level of understanding. A jargon may be acceptable only if the customer is familiar and comfortable with it.