Prospecting Part I

The Importance of Prospecting
Getting salespeople in front of qualified prospects is typically the number one issue of companies. The ability of the sales force to keep the pipeline full is key to success.

Without an effective prospecting system in place, the sales pipeline is weak which creates pressure to be more aggressive in selling to poorly qualified prospects. This leads to poor sales, deteriorating margins, frustrated salespeople and concerned management.

Prosper Prospecting Mentality

Prospecting can be equated to panning for gold. During the Gold Rush days in California, prospectors set up camp by a stream and patiently sifted through pan after pan of gravel and sand in the hopes of finding a gold nugget or two. It was hard, frustrating work, not unlike sales prospecting today. Perhaps the major difference between the gold prospector and the sales prospector is their attitude toward the process. Gold prospectors knew and accepted that they’d have to go through a great deal of gravel and sand to find a nugget. Instead of being frustrated when most of their effort didn’t produce results they accepted it as the reality of the job.

Unlike the gold prospector, today’s salesperson has an unrealistic expectation of prospecting. Instead of accepting the reality that most of their prospecting efforts will be in vain they believe that their prospecting activity should produce significant results. As a result they become frustrated with each call that doesn’t pan out.

To prevent disappointment and frustration, salespeople need to change their view of prospecting and remember that prospecting is a discarding activity. The successful salesperson understands that fact and realizes he will need to go through a number of contacts to find the real nugget.

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