I’ve never been trained how to prospect.
While it’s easy to play the blame game, your ability to improve your skills is in your hands. All it takes is a little initiative.
The truth is, you can stay where you are — average — and mope. Or you can take charge of your career path, invest in yourself, and become a top performer.
Let me share with you six things that you can do right now to overcome any lack of prospecting training.
1. Don’t blame your boss, you are in control.
Hey, I prospect, but my company’s never trained … Read the rest
Do you have a strong discomfort with cold outreach?
Or much worse — do you avoid the phone as a prospecting tool altogether?
I’ve got six strategies to warm up any cold call and help you get over this big obstacle to prospecting.
1. If you have the ability to help someone, it’s your responsibility to reach out to them.
This is a home run play if you have the ability to help someone.
If I had a problem and you could help me with it, I would want you to talk to me. If you didn’t, I’d be upset … Read the rest
You’ve been given a new territory, now it’s time to find a way to get business there. Let’s go through 10 steps to be successful prospecting in a new industry.
1. Know Your Value
What’s the solution you bring to your customers? We don’t sell a product/service, we sell an outcome.
2. What’s the Problem You’re Solving?
The value you bring is different from the problem. If the value is the solution, then the problem is, why do your customers need this? What’s the problem they’re trying to solve?
3. Am I Converting or Educating?
Convert means they’re currently buying … Read the rest
Feel like AI is taking over everything?
The rules keep changing on this, but what I want you to remember is this: ChatGPT is nothing more than a very hyperactive search engine. Don’t run from it! ChatGPT is a tool to leverage. Embrace it!
ChatGPT can give you a tremendous amount of information, but don’t think for a moment it’s going to replace you as a salesperson. Rather, keep one thing in mind: Not only are you using it to help you sell, but your customers are using it to help them make buying decisions. Let’s break this down.
Customers … Read the rest
Prospecting is a game that too many salespeople have already lost because they’re mentally unprepared.
A Mental Game
I want you to be successful at prospecting, and I’m going to tell you 10 things to get your head in the game.
1. Prep the day before.
You can’t go into anything mentally prepared if you have no idea what you’re getting into.
Who are the contacts I’m going to be calling?
What are my expectations?
If you wait till that morning, you’re going to waste so much valuable time just getting ready.
2. Set the expectations.
It’s not your job … Read the rest
Top performers just do things differently. They have a very succinct strategy because the only day we can truly impact is today. Yesterday has passed, and tomorrow is yet to come. Today is for making a difference.
Top performers don’t moan and groan when Monday rolls around. They’re excited, and seek to make Mondays absolutely successful.
Monday is without a doubt, the best day of the week because it sets the tone for the week. Top performers have an attitude of success and expectation of being able to influence and impact other people.
Have a routine … Read the rest
Anybody can become a top-performing salesperson.
It’s not what you sell. It’s the why and the how you sell that makes it happen.
First, why do you sell? Because you’re helping customers achieve things that they didn’t think were possible. Next, your how is the process that you use. Let’s dive in on both.
This is why I wrote the book, A Mind for Sales, because it’s all focused around your mindset in terms of being able to achieve because you know you can.
If you doubt yourself going into a transaction, your customers will doubt you … Read the rest
This is not the time of year to boil the ocean.
Really, there’s no time of the year to boil the ocean. It’s time to keep your activities and processes simple. So what works best if simplicity is the name of the game? Check out these eight strategies.
1. Sell Urgency
Urgency works. Your customers have situations and things they need to accomplish this year. Make it easy for them to do business with you.
They may have money that they need to spend. Help them spend it! They may need to put what you offer in place before moving … Read the rest
Aren’t you forgetting something?
There are a few things I often see salespeople forget when prospecting.
When it comes to the basics, we can’t get sloppy. Are you including these elements when prospecting?
If you want to prospect effectively, follow these tips.
Is the customer waking up in the morning and saying, “Oh man, I hope Mark Hunter calls me today?” No, my mother doesn’t even do that.
We have to be able to create awareness. You may work for HP, or Coca-Cola. Yes, people recognize your company name, but they don’t recognize you.
That’s why awareness is … Read the rest
1. Does the Customer Have a Clear Need?
People will have meetings with you, or will have conversations with you, but do they have a clear need? It can’t just be a need that you understand, but one that they understand, too. Use the prospecting phase to articulate both.
I see customers calling people to ask, “Hey, what’s your price on this?” And it’s really just an itch. They have an idea, and they’ll only go in and buy it if it’s dirt cheap. Suddenly, you jump into negotiating with them.
It’s similar to when you go shopping and there … Read the rest
Just because the customer asks for your price doesn’t mean you have to deliver it right then and there.
In fact, there are a few reasons why you definitely shouldn’t lead with the price.
I want to talk to you about seven rules for how to present your price so that you’re not shot down from the get-go, or challenged by objections either.
1. Do Your Due Diligence
You never put a price out in front of a customer until you have first understood three things:
- One, what’s the critical need they’re trying to address? Is it a pain, is
… Read the rest
I’ve been in sales for more than 30 years and I love it now more than ever.
That definitely wasn’t my attitude when I started out. So why do I love it so much, and now even more than before?
Let me walk you through 10 things I love about sales — which ones resonate with you?
1. Helping People Achieve Things
My definition of sales is helping others see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. That’s what I love about sales. I get to help others make the impossible possible. And I get to do that every … Read the rest
Would you like to have more time to be prospecting and selling?
Perhaps a better, albeit obvious, question: Would more time for selling make you more money? (Of course it would!)
I want to help you have more time for what really generates money for you: selling.
Having a great process but not enough time to execute it properly is not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for frustration.
I challenge you to read these five time-management tips, and then implement them this week.
1. Do Not Multitask
I’m going to pop the bubble right now.
When you multitask, … Read the rest
Who is in charge during your day, you or time?
As a sales professional, your time is valuable. And wasted time is wasted money.
Let’s explore six time management skills that could propel you to the top.
1. Be Ruthless
Top performers master their time. You see there’s two ways to look at the day. You can either control the day or the day can control you. Top performers control the day. They do this by being relentless with how they use their time. They are ruthless in terms of scheduling and following a process. This way, there is no … Read the rest
The price a customer will pay is a reflection of the value you create.
When learning about your prospect becomes knowing your customer, you can customize that value.
There are six things you should know and have in your prospecting tool belt before you present your next price.
1. Your Confidence Impacts the Price
Never allow a price to go out the door without legs being attached to it. In other words, allow your human presence to do the work. Don’t sit there and think, “Well, I’m not sure if they’re going to take it, so I’m just going to … Read the rest
There is only one thing we can’t make more of and that’s time. The new year is nearly half over — what do we want to make of it?
I choose to look at 2022 as the year of unlimited opportunity, and I see that not only for myself, but for you too. Regardless of where we’re at today, it’s how we choose to use our time moving forward that matters.
It’s time to make some decisions. What choices can I make for this to be the best year ever?
I can’t do everything. “No” is going to … Read the rest
Without a doubt, the easiest, most efficient and cost‑effective way to build your business is with referrals.
You simply cannot say, “But what if we haven’t been in business long enough to get referrals?” Excuse me, you’ve been on planet earth, haven’t you? That means you’ve got friends. You’ve got acquaintances. Referrals don’t just come from people who are actively doing business with you.
There are some great ways to integrate asking for referrals into your sales process. I’ve got 10 to share with you.
1. Build a Referral Network
Collaborate with other people who are like you, who you … Read the rest
Your annual plan in and of itself cannot be the end. It’s really just the start.
Preparing for the year ahead brings many benefits, including those that come via the process of just sitting down and creating one.
Assessing yourself and your business can bring about an awareness that allows you to avoid pitfalls in the upcoming year — because you’ve thought it through and done your research.
Of course, everyone could use an annual plan. But what you need is a really great one.
1. Greater Confidence
Your annual plan helps you enter the year proactively instead of reactively. … Read the rest
Does your lead even qualify as a valuable prospect?
Your time is valuable. Your skills are valuable, too. So, before you get too cozy with any lead in your pipeline, it’s worthwhile to take a moment to evaluate. Is this a prospect I can move forward with, or just a suspect?
I have seven questions you might ask yourself about a lead before you invest any more time and effort. If your lead can’t pass this test, you’d be wise to reevaluate the relationship.
1. Does It Match Your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)?
I see so many salespeople who have … Read the rest
Following up with prospects is crucial to closing.
There are plenty of things that prospects like to hear, and can help make your follow-up more effective.
I think we both know the almost impossibility of making a sale on the very first contact. Without compelling follow-up, there can be no sales — and I’ve got seven ways your follow-up could improve.
1. Replay What They Say
This is the easiest one. You may have had one conversation with them, and they shared with you one piece of information. So, in your next email to them, you play it back. You … Read the rest
You’ve heard of ABC: Always Be Closing.
Let me tell you something: The days of ABC are gone. It’s closed. ABC is now ABV: Always Bring Value.
I want you to be thinking about this in every conversation you have. It is always about bringing value.
Let’s walk through the 10 things you need to be doing right now to be bringing value, because you will not be accomplishing this through ABC.
1. Ask More Questions
You create value by actually understanding what the customer is looking for. You understand what the customer is looking for not by telling them, … Read the rest
For now, I am going to walk through problems people have that make setting and achieving goals so difficult.
Here is the problem: Oftentimes, people simply set unreasonable goals or are even given unreasonable goals by their boss. However, your goal is only unreasonable if you fail to put a plan behind it.
If you are not willing to take the time then yes, it is completely unreasonable.
The unreasonable becomes reasonable when you have a plan.
2. No Commitment
The issue may be that you simply do not make a commitment to it.
You set your goals … Read the rest
Let’s not kid ourselves: Prospecting is tough. It is hard. I wrote the books High‑Profit Prospecting and A Mind for Sales because in order to prospect right, you have to have a mind for sales.
I want to walk you through 10 ways how you can make prospecting work.
1. Identify Your ICP
You will never be able to do effective prospecting if you are just spraying and praying.
You need to know who your ICP, or ideal customer profile, is. Get tight and get specific.
The tighter you are, the more specific you are. As a result, you are … Read the rest
This month, I’m sharing 10 ways to improve your selling skills in just 30 days.
You have to be disciplined in how you use your time and what you spend your effort on. You cannot allow yourself to be caught up in the shiny objects. You have to be disciplined to know exactly what you are going to achieve, and then be actively achieving it.
Do not waste your effort; if salespeople would simply be more disciplined in how to use their time, it is amazing how much more successful they would be.
This means consistency … Read the rest
Let’s talk in detail about how to have an effective demo call. I’ve broken it down into 10 things you can do to get better results.
1. Clear Outcomes
Make sure the customer is clear as to what the outcomes are at the end of the demo call. That means you have to be clear.
If you need to have a second demo call, then have a second demo call.
I commonly find salespeople going, “Well I’m just going to see where this goes.” No. I want you to have clear expectations because it’s going to help you stay focused.… Read the rest
I love sales. I absolutely love it. I hope you love sales too. At this time of the year, I want to share with you 10 reasons why I love sales.
1. It’s About Helping People
That’s what sales is all about. Salespeople help every day. We get to be out there helping others see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. What could be more exciting? It’s our job day in and day out to help others! And add to that the ability to have a job where you could spend all day helping people.
2. It’s About … Read the rest
Oh, boy, we all have difficult customers. I’m going to walk you through the 10 ways to deal with these hard customers. In my book, A Mind for Sales, I write about this, however, I separate difficult and bad customers — putting them in separate categories. Bad customers are those that have ethical issues. They have issues with integrity. Other things come into play with bad customers, not just that they’re not good people to deal with.
Let me tell you something — bad customers are attracted to bad salespeople. When I hear a salesperson say that they have … Read the rest
In this column I’m going to share some lessons from the farm. Recently, as I was thinking about how I respond in difficult situations, I realized something that I want to share with you.
Growing up as a kid, I worked on the farm. No, that’s not sexy. And no, it’s not brutal. It was ugly. I picked strawberries. I don’t know if you’ve ever picked strawberries, but it’s hard work. The strawberry picking season would start right after school let out in June and through mid-July. Every year, the bus came by to pick me up about 5:30 a.m. … Read the rest
People continue to say how cold calling is dead and how in today’s environment, it no longer can be cost justified. The answer is both “yes” and “no.” Let me deal with the “no” first.
In the past few months, I’ve watched numerous salespeople shift all of their prospecting efforts to developing social media with such vehicles as Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. The problem with this is it becomes a giant time sucker. The payout of social media in terms of developing sales short-term is very poor.
To develop a social media strategy requires time, and I’m a firm believer … Read the rest
Sell to the customer’s value expectations, not to your value propositions.
We’ve all heard the rule of listening to what the customer has to say, and there’s not a salesperson who thinks they don’t listen to the customer. Reality, however, is quite the opposite.
I find time after time when I’m working with salespeople across any number of industries that the failure to listen is a huge issue.
Too many salespeople believe that because they know the products they represent much better than the client, they know exactly what the customer will see as real value. It’s as if because … Read the rest