One of the most important
aspects of a sales career is prospecting. A prospect is someone
that purchases your product. Prior to determining if they
use your product, and their business is valued, they are a
The sales representative’s income will be in direct
proportion with their prospecting ability. Even if a sales
rep can only turn 5% of calls into sales, more calls will
turn into higher sales.
There are a few critical components of prospecting. The most
important is the sales rep’s willingness to commit to
learning how to prospect successfully. After learning, there
must be a willingness to prospect often enough. Intelligent
prospecting can amount to huge sales increases.
The telephone is one of the critical aspects of prospecting.
The professional sales rep must learn to use the phone as
well as an expert telemarketer. The opening statement and
objective are paramount to success.
The professional refines the appointment call and delivers
it with enthusiasm. They know the closing ratio and continue
to monitor and increase effectiveness.
Most sales reps call a prospect and tell them they will be
in the area and would like to make an appointment. Their closing
ratio is so low they often give up. The result is very few
calls and very few new accounts. These poor sales reps are
called “maintainers”, because they do not possess
the ability to close new business.
The telephone close is important when setting appointments.
The professional has something to offer the prospect, such
as a solution to their problems. They’ve done their
homework and understand the prospect’s needs.
There are many aspects to the prospecting process, including
cold calls and referrals. These processes also must be learned
to be effective.
Prospecting is the first critical part of learning to sell.