If they don't go into our sales funnel, they won't come out! Isn't that the basic piece of knowledge we need to begin a successful sales system? We MUST put enough new prospects into our sales funnel to have enough positive outcomes to meet our goals. That can take a lot of new contacts. And new businesses are actually "suspects" when we initially contact them. They only become legitimate "prospects" when we know that they 1. have a need 2. we have a solution to their need and 3. they have money and can make a decision. We filter out the "suspects" during our needs analysis.
In all the time I've been coaching, I've never had a salesperson reach into their briefcase and show me their prospecting system, in writing, with specific activities that they do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually to ensure enough viable prospects.
And speaking of making new calls, when we break it down, there are only four types of new calls you can make:
- Cold calls: You know nothing about the business except that it's there. You walk in with no knowledge and ask for an appointment. Can you build a business this way? Yes, it's possible. Years ago I did so because I didn't know how to do anything else except walk up and down the street knocking on doors. It's a hard way to find clients and statistically, only 5% will end up doing business with you.
- Leads: Now you have some piece of information that should mean this business needs to advertise. Maybe they have remodeled or they have new management. You've gone to their website, googled them, checked out their social media. You've "warmed" up the call. Working leads makes success a bit easier: statistically 15% of these contacts will close.
- Referrals: Someone you know has recommended that you see a new contact. They will let you use their name. They've probably given you vital information about the new person. This is a much better way to work. Statistically, 50% of these will close.
- Introductions: If you can take that referral a step further and ask that the referring person set up a meeting, lunch or coffee with the new person, you have an inside track. Statistically 90-95% of these will close.
As you develop your prospecting system, you can see that working with referrals and introductions can increase your likelihood of success dramatically. So, whom do you know? Which clients are happy with your service? Which friends or family know people who might need what you do? Can you identify that one person in your town who knows EVERYTHING that is going on in business? I call this person your "rumor central". Buy them coffee a couple of times a month and have a chat.
Chances are we will need to use all four of these types of new calls. But the more we can use #3 and #4, the easier our selling lives will be. Also, our time will be more effectively and efficiently used.
If you are ever in one of my seminars and I ask to see your prospecting system, I hope you may be the first to pull it out and say, "Here it is!!" Your name would probably make my newsletter!
Happy prospecting and happy selling!