Selling advertising and marketing is no easy task. It is not an easy task no matter how effective your strategy may be. It’s no easy task no matter how easy anyone tells you it should be. Ask pretty much any sales executive the solution and he will likely say “prospecting." That is the single word that will stop even the most seasoned salesperson in their tracks. “All you need are some new prospects.” Gee thanks. You just saved me a grand on that Tony Robbins seminar.
Ask any veteran sales professional for prospecting advice and he may hand you the yellow pages or simply mouth the word “Google." After all, he probably had to do it that way.
Of course, anyone who has ever worked in sales understands the importance of proactive prospecting, but even the best salesperson is human at the end of the day, right?
Inevitably, even the greatest prospecting efforts will hit a roadblock of some kind, leading to a very real struggle with one of these seven emotional stages.
Sales executives know when you are avoiding prospecting. They were probably experts at it themselves. Avoidance is so troubling because it is so easy to do. “Sorry, can’t prospect today. I have lunch with my favorite client...again.”Avoidance is also known as “putting it on the back burner.” The problem is your sales pipeline will never heat up if you keep putting prospecting on the back burner.
Distraction is similar to avoidance, but less purposeful. Distraction is the squirrel to your dog. It can happen without you knowing it.
Distraction is that email with a Groupon offer you simply can’t resist. It’s that cat video your sister posted on Facebook.
Make a phone call and talk to someone new? Stop into a business unannounced? What kind of witchcraft is this? You may be fearful if you send more emails to avoid cold calls. It’s a common problem. Although, it is often offset by the fear of not meeting monthly and quarterly sales quotas.
Sure prospecting can be frustrating.
- “If it was easy everyone would do it.”
- “Every great client started as a prospect.”
- “Have you heard the story of the gold miner who stopped who gave up digging just two feet within reaching the mother lode?”
- “Frustration means you’re just getting close.”
Zig Ziglar made a living of working with frustrated sales people. Who is Zig Ziglar? He is not in the Yellow Pages. Google him.
We get it. Prospecting can be boring. We've all heard that whole “plant a seed” analogy. The trouble is that at times prospecting can feel eerily similar to watching grass grow, which is much more interesting when you use time-lapse photography.
If you keep hitting a wall with research, boredom can quickly set in and then you just end up getting distracted again. "Oh man, Stan got a new job? I must now read through his LinkedIn profile for at least 10 minutes. While I'm already distracted, might as well head over to Facebook and see what he did last weekend too."
We’ve all had that prospect that’s been carefully nurtured. He's been shown the value of your solution and has finally made that decision to try to increase his market share…by using your competition.
That could keep you from prospecting for a day or two hundred.
Nothing like heading out for a cold one (or six) with your co-workers to solve the prospecting issue. “Hey, maybe the bar needs to advertise.” Now THERE's a prospect.
But, don't let the blues get you down. If your prospecting strategy is giving you lemons then you go make some damn delicious lemonade.
Although, if you don't have time for lemons or lemonade and would much prefer to devote your time to more valuable things...for instance, winning more business...then we may be able to help! Click here to see if our innovative sales intelligence platform is right for you.