The most important part of sales success is spending more time with good prospects. The more time you send with good leads, the more sales success you will have. However, finding new people to talk to and sell to is one of the most challenging and fear-inducing parts of sales.

Many salespeople who could have been great have lost their passion and hope because they couldn't master the art of prospecting. Luckily, anyone can learn this skill. Many have been able to go from zero knowledge of it to become a professional prospector, appointment setter, and all-around salesperson. All this requires is that you learn strategies of top sales mavericks for prospecting, and apply in your own panache, adapt them to your specific product/service and personality. Yes, prospecting is a critical in your sales process.

What your prospect expects

Earning business of a new lead is often a gradual process that involves a series of ongoing exchanges between a sales representative and a prospect. These transactions usually are initiated by sales representative and occur during one of three phases: initial contact with a new lead, follow-up process, or during an ongoing conversation. Feedback can give to your leads during each phase to help increase chances of earning their business.

Every customer that you call in will be busy - possibly in middle of a meeting, or responding to mails, cleaning something, or any other activity that is preoccupying their mind. You are interrupting them, plain and simple, and you should expect this. So to break through their preoccupation, you need to lead with a strong introduction that will capture their attention.

A great way to do this is through a substantial question such as: "Would you like to see demo how we increased XYZ Inc's sales by >50%". That immediately takes their mind off of what they were doing and forces them to consider your question. Of course, if you used this question on most prospects, they would be foolish not to say "yes".

Potential customers will typically be pleasantly surprised and impressed if you took the time to visit their website and learn more about their company. Show a lead that you have kept up with their business and suggests that you would be attentive moving forward. People love to receive accolades for their accomplishments. Plus, you show that you keep track of industry news.

That opens them up to hearing rest of your pitch. It sets a stage because, now that you have the prospect's full attention, if you were to try to talk about your company or make small talk, you would never generate enough interest up front to indeed break through.

Don't start SELLING (Yet)

It is crucial for those in field sales to understand that your initial cold call is not to sell your product or service, but to sell your prospect that 15 minutes. The reality is until you have an agreed time to meet or talk with your prospect, you will not have time and attention to show them your product/service in a full presentation.

Set a stage for a positive interaction and shows prospects that you are paying attention to small details. Express thanks while telling a prospect that he or she stands out from the crowd in a positive way. Show new leads that working with them would be a privilege as opposed to a job responsibility. Show a prospect that you are interested in learning more about a prospect's company and accomplishments.

Don't go for full sales punch right up front. Once a prospect confirms that they are interested in the benefit, you have mentioned propose a quick meeting to show them how you are going to help them achieve that. Once they have agreed to that time, you are still not done. Be sure to call ahead and confirm your meeting the day of to make sure an emergency didn't come up.

Every word that comes out of your mouth as a salesperson is crucial. A salesman's tongue is more like a sword, so don't go swinging it around without knowing, exactly, what words you are going to say. One wrong word or phrase could turn the customer off. Be sure to understand the first several sentences that describes their problems, and how your product/service helps them with the desired results.

Consider changing phrases, questions, and other pieces of your sales pitch around. You might find that just one small tweak will get you much better results. Memorize this new script and make it your default, while testing others on a small portion of your prospects at all times. That ensures that your script evolves until you are using only the most effective one for your purposes.

Always be friendly and positive. Take time to prepare yourself for each call. Your attitude has a significant effect on your ability to prospect and set more meetings. Breath deep, visualize success and put a smile on your face before every conversation.

Introduce Yourself

Accept it – Your prospect don't know why you are there, until you give them some context. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to set sales appointments, that is not revealing who they are, who they represent. People are naturally curious about strangers and want to be able to understand who you are, and might not open up to your questions. This part of the process isn't complicated. In addition to your name, you need to share with your prospect your company's name.

Here's a simple sales mantra: Spend more time with your prospects. Focus how your product solves their problems.

Referring a company's industry reputation reinforces the prospect's sense of pride and shows that you admire their successes. Introduce yourself to many prospects with this question because most people enjoy talking about themselves and their families. Help a customer feel valued by your organization and reinforce that you consider the client to be special. The first and primary benefit that you offer should be included in the first few sentences you utter. You want their mind focused on their pain points and solutions, not a particular product or service.

Applaud prospects for their expertise and ability to motivate others. Affirm the sets the stage for the next phase of interaction with the lead: continued conversation. Rolling out the red carpet for prospects reinforces their value to your organization and can help improve dose ratio. Affirm a prospect's value to an industry or society at large. Tell how your prospects has good judgment and management skill, and make prospects feel like they are a significant asset to their employer.

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