The 5 Most Crucial Sales Prospecting Doctrines
If You’re Not Practicing These, You’re Probably Not Winning
Prospecting, cold calling, canvassing, dialing for dollars, whatever you want to call it, it’s the most challenging part of the sales process for most new (and surprisingly) veteran salespeople. This topic dominates many of my coaching sessions with sales leaders. When I ask, “So…what’s keeping you up at night,” they’re quick to tell me that they wish their sales team would prospect more—drive more activity, and also have better success converting approaches into appointments.
In this blog article I’m going to cull out the 5 most crucial prospecting doctrines from our CAP Coaching© work (please click on the following link if you are not familiar with these programs):
Also, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales, my new book, is done and will be live on Amazon soon! Click below to steal a FREE DOWNLOAD of the book’s introduction!
I’m culling out these 5 vital prospecting principles and delivering them to you today because I believe that many of you (or your team) are going about the task of prospecting WRONG and if you, or the person you’re coaching, would simply apply these practices, everything would change.
Okay…you ready? Here are the 5 most crucial sales prospecting doctrines:
- Have your approach word-text down COLD
There is no reason for you to be winging it. You are a professional. Know what you are going to say and how they will respond to that. Their responses (when you ask them for an appointment) are going to be finite. In fact, your prospect’s responses usually fit into a very small spectrum of answers. Know how they are going to respond and how you are going to pivot and ask them for an appointment again. Also, know that…
…you’re going to have to ASK them to meet with you at least 3 times (on average) before they agree and give you an appointment!
Know your stuff!
Competence breeds confidence!
- Put TWICE the raw leads they tell you into your pipeline
This is a Jedi mind trick. This is something that probably makes no sense until you try it. Regardless of how many raw leads you have right now, I want you to double up on them. Think about it…if you had twice the leads in your pipeline right now, how would it change the way you feel?
Most salespeople tell me that they would be more relaxed—looser, and they’d feel more energy to get through the leads faster. They would be less protective of the leads simply because there were more of them.
If you are relaxed you perform better!
Also, if you have an urgency to get through the leads faster, you’ll create momentum.
- Make prospecting a calendar PRIORITY
(Not just something you do if you can fit it in)
I wrote a popular blog article that outlined the most critical priorities for a new salesperson. (Or any salesperson for that matter) If you’ve never read it you can review it by clicking on the link below.
If you’ve been in sales for more than a year you know that there is almost a cosmic, unconscious resistance to prospecting. There are many distractions that we allow into the picture. We have to fight through the wall of white noise. We have to hardwire prospecting into our calendar.
The key here is to put yourself in a position to wake up employed on Monday morning. It’s impactful when you identify the deficits in your calendar and fix them before you start your week. Looking ahead and hard-wiring your prospecting for the week is really the key message here.
- Focus on the OVERALL task of prospecting
(Not the overall results)
I’ll share a quick story with you about how focusing on the big task can change things in a hurry. When my friend, Gary, first got started in sales he found prospecting difficult. He was suffering. He was focused on each person that said, “No,” to him, stopping to micro analyze each result. He was ready to pull the plug on his career. He went to his mentor for advice. The manager said, “I want you to see 30 people tomorrow and simply ask for the opportunity to meet with them at a future date. Don’t worry about who says yes or no. Can you do that?”
Gary’s mentor had focused him on completing an overall task, not the individual results.
The next day Gary went out and did exactly what he’d been asked to do—he saw 30 prospects and asked them if they would meet with him on a future date. Some of them said, “Yes,” most said, “No, not right now.” He checked in with his mentor that night. His manager asked how the day went. Gary happily replied, “I had eight people agree to meet with me.” The mentor replied, “That’s awesome. So you have those appointments in your calendar?” Gary replied, “No, I didn’t make any appointments. You just told me to ask the people if they’d meet with me in the future. So, that’s what I did.” Gary was so focused on following the literal instructions that he didn’t book any specific appointments into his calendar. His mentor sent him back out the next day to nail down the appointments.
This story illustrates the power of focusing only on the task. I actually want you to be a little like Gary…
…I want you to be unconscious about the prospecting work.
Now, I will admit that, in outside sales, it’s usually not a good thing to be unconscious, but this is the one time that we will recommend it. I believe you have to establish a logical prospecting plan and calendar and then simply work that plan without a lot of microanalysis. I want you to place yourself on autopilot—turn off your brain while you are doing the work.
If you do this, you will get through a higher volume of calls on a weekly basis, you’ll have less stress, and you’ll start converting at a higher ratio.
- Practice the METRIC RESULT philosophy
We often label things incorrectly. I’ve seen it over and over again in sales. Salespeople tend to use the words, FAILURE and REJECTION a lot, however, in reality, there’s no such thing as failure or rejection in sales.
When we label a cold call or a presentation that didn’t result in a, “Yes,” a failure, we’re suggesting that the occurrence gives us nothing and teaches us nothing.
That is never true.
First, when someone says, “No,” it mathematically moves us that much closer to a, ”Yes.” Secondly, when we collect a few, “Nos,” we can begin to study that body of metrics and learn from them. We can tweak our message—make it clearer and improve the conversion ratio. So…there is NO SUCH THING as failure in sales. We learn something and take something away from every result.
Let’s look at the word, rejection, for a moment.
When you ask a person to meet with you and they choose not to, or you attempt to present to a prospect and they don’t let you, it’s easy to label that as rejection. Think about it; if a person doesn’t choose to meet with you or listen to your full message—understand it completely—they can’t possibly be rejecting you, your product or your program.
How in the world can you suitably reject something you don’t know or understand?
So if the words failure or rejection are not the right labels to use, what label should we be using?
The proper label and philosophy is to identify ALL results, (including Yes, No or Maybe) as METRIC RESULTS, nothing more and nothing less.
All results are simply data entries, metrics, to be identified categorically, logged in and analyzed at a later time. (Not while you are busy working)
I was at Jack Canfield’s house last summer. (He’s the guy that created the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series) Jack and I were discussing The CAP Equation methodology and the work I was doing. If you have a few minutes you can watch a short video of Jack and me having a discussion by clicking here: http://youtu.be/EtRRzG2ntLc
Jack loves formulas and he was fascinated with the Metric Result Philosophy. He told me a story about a night in St. Louis when they were telemarketing for a seminar they were doing. They were dialing for dollars. He explained to me that the salespeople they hired would close 1 out of 9 people they had a conversation with on the phone.
He said, “We had one young man get 81 turn-downs in a row, which was unheard of. Then the same guy closed the next nine people in a row, which was also unheard of.” Jack thought that this was a good example of the Metric Result Philosophy.
The salesperson didn’t stop to analyze each individual result or attach a false label to it.
We both agreed, that in one way or another, all top salespeople practice the Metric Result Philosophy.
They remove emotion from the equation and let the law of large numbers take over!
There are probably 10 – 15 more principles and doctrines I could throw at you but I wanted to cull the top 5 out of the pack—make sure you know and practice these. If applied, these 5 practices can change everything for you or the person you are coaching.
Okay,,,one other thing I want you to know about…
I must admit, I’m a little proud of what we are building out and launching in a few weeks!
CAP 101 is kind of a big older brother of our frontline program from last year. it’s designed for frontline salespeople and it consists of all of our previous content (newly revised and extended) as well as an ADDITIONAL 12 – 14 hours of the brand new content we’ve been working on!
So, this program contains OVER 20 HOURS of our best frontline ‘sales 101’ stuff!
I want you to take a look at this program today (6 minute video preview) because there is a killer BONUS for a limited time…a personal coaching session with me! Go to the link below
CLICK HERE for a sneak preview: http://www.thecapequation.com/cap101
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Important Note: Joe Buzzello is launching the very first CAP Leadership Platform on February 18th. This is an exclusive 13-week program that requires only a small investment on your part, but will transform the way you think about leading salespeople. Joe’s CAP Leadership Platform will also give you access to multiple personal coaching sessions with him. Program access is limited to only the first 32 qualified registrants. For a one-page sheet with full details please send an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org