There isn’t a more ideal time than now to create a prospecting blitz for the next 75 days to fill your pipeline for a successful sales year.
Just like spring, it’s time to plant the seeds to reap a bumper crop of sales.
It can be hard to kick-start the year and re-set our sales numbers to zero. Most companies are expecting double-digit growth each year. The other reality is at least a few of our customers will not buy from us this year – so we have to find at least a few more companies to replace them. This sounds like a daunting task!
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you make prospecting easier, smarter and even fun!
It’s time for a Prospecting Blitz – here are our 7.5 Strategies to rev up your confidence.
1. Know The Goal & Activities – It’s a Numbers Game!
What is your sales goal for this year? What is your closing ratio? If you don’t know, you can use the average of 25%. For example, if your sales goal is $1,000,000 for this year and you already have $300,000 secured for the year with another $400,000 in your funnel at a 25% closing ratio means you’re at about 40% of your sales goal. What do you need to add to your funnel in this next quarter to have a successful year? If you don’t know where you want to end up, how will you know you’ve reached your destination? Setting your goals and getting clear about your intentions before each call will greatly improve your success rate. Do you wish to speak to three clients a day on the phone? Do you want to set up ten appointments by week’s end? Get clear on what it is you’re attempting to do, quantify the result you’re after, and identify the steps you need to take to get there.
2. Make It Automatic – Block The Best Time & Stick to It!
Unless you commit the time and effort required to reach your goals, it will never happen. This may mean scheduling time each day to make a specific number of calls or setting aside an hour for calling every week.
We’ve noticed that the tipping point for an increase in sales starts to happen when ten calls are consistently made each day. Figure out what you need to do to make it a habit, block it out in your calendar to make it part of your workday and do the work, even when you don’t feel like it.
I’ve discovered Thursday mornings between 7:30am and 8:55am are the best time for me to reach my ideal decision makers, as they are typically in the office early and answer their phones before they begin their 9am meetings. I habitually block Thursday mornings at this time in my calendar as Prospecting Blitz so nothing else gets in the way of this precious prospecting time.
The best times to attempt to reach a prospect are early morning, at lunch or after 5pm because that’s typically when they are at their office and the easiest to reach. If you can’t seem to get through to them, approach one of their colleagues or their assistant to find out the best time to reach out.
3. Create Your Hot List
Creating your list of prospects to call in advance will make it much easier when you make those calls. Go through your database, past clients, tradeshow leads, the stack of business cards on your desk corner or drawer. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to create a hot list of one hundred names. I would highly recommend LinkedIn Navigator as a great tool to find more leads. The Navigator advance option allows you to easily track leads and new accounts. Lastly, remember prospects can be existing clients – different buyers, or divisions. It’s much easier to grow your business with existing clients.
4. Set The Mood – Get In Your Zone!
You know what they say about best-laid plans. Interruptions can happen to the best of us throughout our days. That’s why creating the optimum environment for this task is essential to its success so you can eliminate any opportunity for rationalization to set in. You’ve already blocked the time in your calendar, so you’re halfway there. Now you’ll want to shut the office door, eliminate all interruptions and notifications, close your email and focus on the prospect you want to connect with. Ready, set, go, pick up the phone and start the task at hand.
To help me get in the zone, I always do a great work-out or run in the early morning as my confidence increases. You could also grab your favorite coffee to help you enjoy your prospecting time.Unless you commit the time and effort required to reach your goals, it will never happen. Click To Tweet
5. Make It Count – Double Whammy
The point of reaching out to prospects is to connect with them, preferably live. If you get their voice mail, leave them a compelling message and then follow it up with an email. Even though they may respond via email, very few people get voice mail and if you’re great at leaving a compelling message, it’ll get noticed. You may also consider a LinkedIn Message as it looks different in one’s inbox and gets a higher response rate than a regular email.
6. Track Your Triumphs
As Sales Professionals, gamifying your prospecting can go a long way towards feeding your competitive streak. Start to log your progress and set aside time every few weeks to review how you’re doing. You won’t know if you’re meeting your goals if you don’t measure the results you’re getting. Make it a habit to record all client activities so you know who returned your phone calls and emails, who you connected with, and identify whether or not that connection generated business for you. Create a solid record-keeping system like a CRM system or a good old spreadsheet where you can easily access the information. Be sure to celebrate your wins. After just a few weeks, you’ll start to see the increase in sales opportunities.
7. Celebrate The Small Stuff
No win is too small to celebrate. When you make a habit of acknowledging your wins, it creates momentum that will encourage you to go further. And don’t forget to share your success with others. When you share your success with others and you share specifically what worked for you, your success can inspire success for the entire team.
Each week, treat yourself by sticking to your commitment of your ten calls every week or even every day. Reward yourself with a great long weekend at the beginning of July for your hard work and commitment.
7.5 – Your Prospecting Attitude
If you feel this is a daunting task and not worth it, Prospecting Procrastination will sink you! You have to find it within yourself to commit to this Prospecting Blitz and you’ll be amazed how you start to attract more opportunities. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years every spring and it works, guaranteed!
Below are strategies that you can use for prospecting to keep you on track. While each of them may seem like common sense, what we have found is rarely are all 7.5 of these strategies common practice. Take a moment and ask yourself right now:
- Do you have clear goals to set you up for sales success for the year?
- Do you have good habits that make your prospecting activities automatic?
- Do you have a Hot List to make those weekly calls easier?
- Do you create the right environment to support your mood to make those calls?
- Do you make every interaction count with phone, emails and LinkedIn?
- Do you track your triumphs?
- Do you celebrate your wins?
- And lastly, the right prospecting attitude will attract more leads & opportunities.
If you turn these 7.5 strategies into habits, you’ll be surpassing your sales goals in no time.
What is your best tip for prospecting that we haven’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments.
Lisa is driven by the mantra – Be Strategic. Be Pro-active. Be Brave. – and has been successfully training and coaching sales leaders and their teams to do the same for over 15 years. As the President of Teneo Results since 2003, she has trained thousands of sales professionals at more than 250 companies across North America. She transitions salespeople away from the standard “product & price” approach to having purposeful business conversations with their customers that drive results.