The Importance of a Process

Submitted by Bill Farquhars… on March 28, 2019
Bill and Kelly headshot

You’ve heard us say this before. NINETY percent of salespeople do not have a regular prospecting process that they follow with any kind of regularity.  So, odds are, if you are reading this, you fall into that ninety percent. You are reading this blog and that’s a good start. In addition, you can commit to participating in the thINK Sales Virtual Workshops where we are going to do some real game-changing work together.
 

So how do you go about creating and sticking to a prospecting plan, the kind of plan that will take you and your sales practice to a whole ‘nother level? As we always say about the concept of a plan, the order of the steps is not as important as the steps themselves. Same goes for this checklist. You don’t have to do it in order, you just must do it.

  1. Commit – Make a promise to yourself (and ideally someone else to keep you accountable) that you are going to do this EVERY DAY.

  2. Choose your channels – The phone alone is not going to cut it today. You’ve got to make the most of all the tools available to you. At the very least email, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These are great places to share and push either content you find out there in the interwebs, or even better, original stuff that you and your company create. You should be sending letters in the mail, and even making videos. You don’t have to be Martin Scorsese to shoot short, impactful videos to teach your prospects valuable stuff.

  3. Write your scripts – There is a great formula for what should be contained in an initial communication.  Put a LOT of thought into what you have to say and consider everything you do and look at it with the eyes of your potential customer. Ask yourself: what do I want from this? If I were reading this, would it grab my attention?  Do I understand what is being offered to me? Do I want this?

  4. Change it up and try new things – If you are not getting the results that you are looking for, try something else.

  5. Track it – Whether you use a product like Salesforce or any other CRM, or you use a spreadsheet, or some system of your own invention, track everything. Every letter, every phone call, every step. Because in every contact that you make, you are making a promise to make another contact, which leads us to our next point…

  6. Always use predictive next steps – As mentioned above, you are a promise keeper.  Every step in your process is an opportunity to demonstrate your pleasant persistence and your diligence.

  7. Know when to quit (or not) – After several touches, and we are talking about at least ten but probably not more than 15, you may decide that you are done with the hot pursuit. In fact, you may be completely done. Or you are just going to ease up on the throttle but stay in touch.  That decision can only be solved by answering the question “How bad do you want it?”

  8. Be tenacious – You are a dog on a bone. You are relentlessly pursuing these prospects. You give it all you’ve got. Every day.

  9. Be patient and faithful – Have faith. Know that what you are doing will pay off. If you make a high value call to the right target market with something of value to say and you do it with diligence, you will succeed. Promise.

  10. Be anecdotal – Remember to tell stories. Your stories help connect your prospects to you and what you do. When you tell a story about how your solution solved a problem for someone else, they can immediately understand it better. Stories are sticky. Ideally you would have a whole stable of stories that apply to different types of prospects, in different vertical markets, that you can access and use the more you get to know a prospect. Or, if one story doesn’t appeal to them, another one might. Always be on the lookout for new stories.
     

Ready to learn more? Register to participate in one of three thINK Virtual Sales Workshops.

 

Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi have sold digital print themselves and create a lot of content around the subject. Their book, Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing is available on Amazon.