Prospecting: How To Fill Your Pipeline
To sell successfully, you must do four things, over and over
First, you must find people who are capable of buying your product or service (prospecting). Second, you must uncover the problem or need your prospect has that your product or service can satisfy (qualifying). Third, you must demonstrate to the prospect that your product or service is the best-choice solution to his problem, and it makes economic sense for him to buy it (presenting). Finally, you must answer his questions and get commitment from him to take action (closing).
You are in the business of new business development. Your ability to find new customers determines your level of success, your ranking among your peers, your position in your industry, and your standard of living.
As we have seen, the biggest single obstacle to success, in every part of life, is fear. This is especially true when it comes to prospecting, to phoning or visiting strangers, or to self-promotion. The average person is unknowingly sabotaged by the fear of rejection, by his or her concern for the opinions or the approval of others. This fear of rejection can feed on itself until it literally controls a person’s entire life.
To illustrate how powerful this fear can be as an obstacle to sales success, imagine for a moment that you or your company had hired a very expensive but absolutely excellent team of market researchers. Their job was to examine all the potential customers in your market area and to determine, on the basis of sophisticated methodology, exactly who was most likely to buy exactly what you are selling.
Now imagine that, at the end of this research, they generated a list of superb prospects, people who were ready to buy now, this very day. They guaranteed that every single person on this list would buy from you if you asked them to, but the names were good for this day only.
If you had a list of guaranteed customers, every one of whom would buy immediately, but only if you called on them before the end of the day, what time would you start? How fast would you move? How long would you work? How much time would you take for coffee breaks or meals, or to socialize?
With a guaranteed list, you would probably call on every single person you could possibly reach. You would phone, fax, fly, and rush from appointment to appointment. You would call on people without appointments and you would make every minute count.
If you were guaranteed success, if you had no fear whatsoever of rejection or failure, of embarrassment or disapproval, you would be one of the most forceful, confident, powerful, and dynamic salespeople in your entire industry.
And the primary reason you don’t act every day as though you have a guaranteed list of prospects is fear. That’s how powerful it can be.
From Advanced Selling Strategies by Brian Tracy
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