Training that Sticks

Dave's Fables: Prospecting Revenue Strategies for Territory or Market Segment Salespeople

Posted by Dave Hamilton on Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

describe the imageTop two sources for finding new revenues:

  1. Identify and research new customers
  2. New contacts within existing customers  

If finding new revenues were this easy…I’d be writing this blog from my new boat.   

Common statements sales professionals say over and over to me during training… You don’t understand Dave…“My territory is already saturated” or “I have a highly, competitive market”.  If you face the same challenges…here’s some proven tips to help you meet and exceed your sales goals. 

Important:  Knowing the difference between sales (or selling) and prospecting (finding new business) is a big shift in thinking for many.  Many top sales professionals that attend my prospecting for new revenue classes are asked to bring a list of their top prospects. Often, what they bring are leads and contact information from organizations of their existing relationships.

Prospecting is not selling! – If you are approaching an individual and are in the habit of saying, “I’m here today to see if you need…, my company has a special on…” – that’s selling. Don’t do that! Prospecting is simply getting someone’s attention and quickly sparking interest. If you walk away with an internal referral or 10-minute advancement, you did well. (Don’t worry; you will have plenty of time to sell later.)  Another way to look at prospecting is…If your opening interest building statement is focused on your product and not focused on the person you are talking to…that’s sales. It’s all about the person when prospecting.

Prospecting for new relationships can and should occur both up and down an organization’s food chain. I’ve heard it said many times, “Always start at the top of an organization when prospecting.” This is often true…however… I prefer to have collaboration.

Here are some examples of prospecting collaborations (second opinions) that have saved me time. The prospect that is not the decision maker but the end-user…often will tell you the whole truth and nothing by the truth.

  • Selling food products and paper goods:  Prospect a restaurant’s manager, then seek out and have a chat with the dishwasher or member of the utility staff! (Honestly, of these two positions, who really knows what’s being eaten and what’s not. Who can give you insight towards a competitive advantage?)
  • Selling or renting construction materials or support equipment:  Your current relationship is with the general contractor – start digging within that organization for other project or department personnel. See what they have to say – talk to someone in the trenches or a subcontractor on the   project site.  Compare notes!

The more departments, divisions, and individuals you can educate about your company the better. Don’t forget – prospecting is not selling! You should simply start with who you are, why you are there and what is in it for them. Assess the situation – find the right time to share a few minutes with them.

These days you never know when or where your contacts or “new revenue opportunities” will pop-up. Changing jobs or locations these days seem to be a sport for many. A competitor today may be the employer of tomorrow.

In closing – as always don’t forget to document everything – inputting information into your CRM platform is what makes you more valuable!

Topics: Dave Hamilton, Sales, Training, Tips, prospecting

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