My friend Mike Weinberg says “No one defaults to prospecting.” What he means is that when salespeople have time between calls or meetings, they don’t automatically pick up the phone and start prospecting. And he’s right about this.
When I was a young salesperson, there was only the phone. Every morning, I secluded myself in an office and made prospecting calls. I started making calls at 8:15 AM, and I stopped for lunch at Noon, when I’d usually go to a restaurant with my peers. After lunch, I’d start making calls again until it was time to go home.
As I made calls to every number in the business section of the phonebook, I wrote down every “good” lead on an index card. If someone told me that they used what I sold, they were a good lead. The next day, I’d flip through all of those index cards, knowing that they were better than the numbers in the phonebook. Then I started back through the phonebook. No targets. No business intelligence. No social networks. No LinkedIn. No research.
It was prospecting. All day. Every day. And then the appointments came. And after I made a sales call, it was back to prospecting. Lots of people were better salespeople than I was. No one made more calls. Prospecting was my default.
As a young salesperson, no one had to tell me to prospect. I didn’t know what else I should have been doing. And there still aren’t many real choices available to you. When you need new business, you make your calls.
Don’t be a sales poseur. Pick up the telephone.
I made two cold calls today. Dave Brock and his team make calls every week.