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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 “suspect”.

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.