The Salesperson’s Prospecting Dilemma

The Salesperson’s Prospecting Dilemma

Today, sales people are struggling more than ever to secure quality appointments with prospects that might be ready, willing and able to do business.

FACT: Sales people are most effective when they’re in front of a prospect, uncovering needs, and selling solutions to those needs.
FACT: Most sales people spend hours prospecting, cold calling, attending networking events, and other activities designed to secure appointments with prospects
FACT: Most salespeople make too few weekly appointments with qualified prospects.

The current system of getting sales people in front of really good quality prospects is broken, and it must be fixed before even the most talented sellers will see better results.

The Old School Selling philosophy of expecting a salesperson to secure their own appointments, uncover needs, solve the problem and then sell the right solution is neither effective nor efficient.

Expecting one person to be a jack-of-all trades and expert in all these areas is a poor use of the salesperson’s time. It can also severely limit the development of any real sales skills.

The professional sales person, like a medical doctor, should not be asked to do all things. Asking a medical doctor to schedule his own appointments, conduct family history and intake interviews and screening and performing basic medical tasks – like taking temperature and blood pressure which all takes time - would severely limit the number of patients he is able to see daily. Doctors, even family practitioners, are skilled technicians who limit their time to conducting highly specialized tasks that cannot be performed by nurses and other medical technicians.

Professional sales people should do likewise. They should ONLY spend their time selling. They should not be asked to perform prospecting activities which is a marketing function.

Those who are real sales pros and are especially good at uncovering needs and selling solutions are becoming increasing discouraged by all wasted hours they have to spend “dialing for dollars” and banging the phone in an attempt to secure a good appointment.

Even when they do secure an appointment it is not usually with an ideal prospect or highly qualified prospect which results in more discouragement and wasted time.

FACT: A good closer is just that – a closer. A good closer is not a good prospector because they are two entirely different skills.

Asking a good closer to become a prospector will eventually result in the closer leaving for greener pastures.

If you doubt me, ask any salesperson and they will tell you how frustrating prospecting is. Forcing salespeople to spend more time prospecting means they will spend less time actually selling. Spending more time trying to find someone or anyone to talk to means less time uncovering needs and selling solutions to those needs.

For example, it takes a salesperson an hour a day to make 35 outbound calls to secure an appointment. (I know this because nearly everyday for 6 months I did exactly that and these numbers proved to be true)

That’s 5 hours a week to secure five appointments. Of the 5 appointments, 4 are usually with low quality prospects. That means that it takes 5 hours weekly to secure one quality appointment with an ideal prospect. This is expensive in more ways in one.


What if there was a way to generate high quality leads, and then hand then off to the professional closers on your team? What if you had the same quality systems and processes for lead generation and marketing that you have for accounting and operations?

I can tell you from experience it would revolutionize your business. Instead of 1 or 2 quality appointments per week, your sales people could easily go on 6 to 10 new appointments weekly. Not only would they get in front of more potential buyers, they would be fresher and not burned out from endlessly making cold calls. The end result would be phenomenal.

This is a paradigm shift no doubt, but it is one that has to happen in order for sales and marketing to work together successfully. Installing and executing a lead generation strategy is paramount for success in the new, more competitive economy. Without it you, your company will experience mediocre results and burnout.