People are often uncomfortable with the idea of prospecting. Many salespeople struggle with it because they relate it to cold calling, but it isn’t possible to transition to a referral business until you find prospects.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Richard Nongard talks about the role prospecting plays in transitioning to a referral business.
It’s our mindset that leads us to fear cold calls, but the truth is that people aren’t usually mean when we’re face-to-face. Unfortunately, that same mindset cripples us even when we’re dealing with warm or hot leads.
We miss the chance to follow up two or three days later to make sure that we answered all their questions. We never check in to see if there’s anything else we can do for them.
There’s a reason we don’t just randomly hand out business cards at networking events. People didn’t ask for our cards, so we don’t hand them out without any context or conversation.
Instead, if I come with value and answer their questions in a way that relates directly to them, they’ll be more likely to welcome my interaction.
Richard recommends a simple strategy when cold calling. He explains to his prospects that he’s in the neighborhood learning more about local businesses so he can refer and network with other people here in the community.
When you explain it that way, people are always happy to tell you about their businesses and, of course, they’ll be willing to reciprocate.
Sales trainers across the board report that overcoming fear and self-doubt are the most frequent challenges they address.
Most salespeople are well trained in the language of sales
Imagine you’re a new sales rep at a company where 90 percent of your business has to come from prospecting. You have very few leads, and you’ve never sold before.
The key is to build relationships. Networking is essential in a B2B sales position.
We mistakenly believe that if they build a website, buyers will come. As a result, they spend all their time trying to make their website perfect so that when people come to their site, those prospects will become buyers.
They tinker with images and with fonts without realizing that people are the most important component in the transaction. Technology actually becomes a barrier for us because we believe we’re spending our time doing something useful but we really aren’t building relationships that drive people to our website.
Your website should simply be proof of your product or service rather than a way of generating leads.
Get out in the community and go to meetups. Go to networking events. Take every opportunity to meet real people.
If you’re invited to events that you aren’t interested in, go anyway. The people there might need your services someday.
Many of us would prefer to have a referral-based business over a prospecting-based business, but the truth is that you have to prospect to get to that point.
The reason so many businesses miss the opportunity to pivot from prospecting-based to referral-based is a failure to follow up after the sale. By not creating relationships with the people they are selling to, and not asking for referrals, we overlook many opportunities.
Time management prevents us from following up, as does the lack of a system to support a referral-based business.
Richard recalled that he often spent time worrying about the future. He ended up focusing on the future rather than living in the moment.
When we live in the moment, though, we can actually activate all of our intentions. It’s a much more powerful strategy than goal-setting.
Research actually shows that goals have a downside. They can be a downward spiral to mediocrity as we lower our goals to meet our deadlines.
Goals cause a great deal of anxiety. Goals are focused on the future while all we actually have is this moment.
By staying in the present, we activate our greatest level of potential.
You can reach Richard Nongard at his website, Viral Leadership and you can grab a copy of his book, Viral Leadership: Seize the Power of Now to Create Lasting Transformation in Business.
You can also get more information there about training and consulting for large and small companies, as well as coaching services, keynote speaking, and Richard’s new podcast on leadership.
This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth. Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.