Selling activities fall into two categories. The first is opportunity creation, the second, opportunity capture. The first necessarily precedes the second. If your sales results are not what you want them to be, look first to opportunity creation and prospecting. If you are not getting the results you want, here are a few things that might be missing.
No Talk Tracks: I love scripts. I call them planned dialogues. You might call them talk tracks. In a complex, dynamic human interaction, there are countless variables. But it is possible to count the different responses you are likely to encounter when you interrupt someone and ask them for their time. The expectation that one talk track will work for all scenarios is just not true. You have to vary your approach and change things up. You do need talk tracks, and you do need chops.
No Courage to Ask Again: When you interrupt someone to ask them for an appointment, many people will decline your request. They are trying to protect their time, and they are trying not to waste it on things that aren’t important to them now. This is reflexive, and you must ask again, increasing the value you are offering to trade for their time.
No Campaigns: You call your dream client in January. You have a lot of targets, so you call them again in April. Then July, then October. This isn’t prospecting. It isn’t strategic enough, there isn’t enough activity, and it isn’t creating value for your target client. It’s sporadic, and it is not serious. If you don’t have more touches, and more interactions closer together, what you are doing can no longer be called prospecting.
No Call Blocks: If there is not time blocked on your calendar, then you are not going to produce the prospecting results you need. For a salesperson, call block protects the time you need from the outside distractions that, while needing your attention, prevent you from building a pipeline. Prospecting time is sacred time, and you need to carve enough of it to generate the opportunities you need.
Too Little Activity: You may not like that the fact that you can’t generate the opportunities you need with the amount of activity you prefer to spend prospecting, but that does not change the reality that if what you are doing isn’t working, you need to change something. You can have all of the four points above, but it you dial two numbers a day, none of it will amount to anything. Greater activity cures activity problems. Greater effectiveness cures effectiveness problems. Know which is preventing your success.
Treat opportunity creation as if it is equally important as opportunity capture.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen