“Please, can I have some more?”
No, that’s not Oliver Twist talking. You haven’t completed your sales prospecting strategies and now your pipeline is starving.
I know, I know. You had every intention of prospecting, but “something” came up, just like it always does.
When you or your sales team constantly push off prospecting, it’s time to ask if you are using good prospecting time management and holding yourself accountable to doing it. Are legitimate business opportunities filling your calendar or are you consuming “empty sales calories”?
YOU’RE CONSUMING “EMPTY SALES CALORIES” INSTEAD OF PROSPECTING IF …
Any time you engage in sales activities that lack a specific objective, or don’t lead to actual opportunities, you’re consuming what I call “empty sales calories.”
What are “empty sales calories”?
Like nutritionally lacking (but often delicious) foods, these sales “activities” make you feel good in the moment. You convince yourself you’re being productive. Then a few hours later, you realize your pipeline is still starving, because instead of prospecting you’ve been:
- Checking in with clients without an objective or need to do so
- Researching a prospect for more than 10 minutes and then promising yourself you’ll “call tomorrow”
- Conducting client satisfaction check-in calls when you know things are going well
- Attending networking events with people not related to your target market
- Taking clients to lunch and never asking for a referral
- Participating in leads groups where you’ve never gotten a lead
- Engaging in extreme cold calling by randomly searching Google for prospects
Guilty? You aren’t alone
Here’s how to kick the bad habit and engage in substantial prospecting.
SALES PROSPECTING TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES THAT WORK: HAVE A SNACK OR A MEAL
Google time management strategies and you’ll end up with more tips than you know what to do with. Really, what you need to figure out is which of the following 2 approaches works best for your schedule and prospecting style.
1. Hungry? Grab a Snickers – the sales prospecting snack approach
Our Sr. Sales Consultant Lynn Hidy prospects in bursts. She schedules snack-sized snippets of time throughout the day for prospecting. All her efforts are channeled into these 10–15 minutes.
Why prospecting snacks work
Breaking down a large goal or project makes it feel manageable. Prospecting is no different. You can take your list and segment it out into bit-sized pieces. Give each segment a slot on your calendar and focus only on those prospects during that short time.
2. Full-course meals and When Harry Met Sally
Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally said she didn’t snack between meals. Under this prospecting model, you won’t either. Instead of bite-sized calls here and there, you set aside a block of time, sit down, and dial.
Why prospecting meals work
For many salespeople (myself included!) it takes a few dials to get into a rhythm. Blocking larger chunks of time gives you the opportunity to fall into the cadence you’re comfortable with.
YOUR SALES PROSPECTING TIME MANAGEMENT CHOICE IS PERSONAL
One method isn’t “better” than the other. You will succeed with either if you set aside the time. Experiment with both to see what works best for you, then work your meals, snacks, or both into your schedule.
Put it on your calendar
Block off the time, right now. Make your prospecting dates recurring events so no one can invite you to meetings during that time. Avoid the temptation to cancel on yourself, and engage in substantial prospecting activities when the calendar reminder pops up. Use one of these games to make prospecting fun (seriously!).
Prospecting time management is only half the battle
Part of the reason salespeople put off prospecting is because it’s difficult, or they don’t want to hear “no” or be ignored. If this is your challenge you don’t have to let it stop you from filling your pipeline, find a sales mentor, or get coaching or training to know exactly how to handle these wily prospects.
HOW TO ADD HEAT TO YOUR COLD CALLS
Marketing campaigns add a dash of cayenne spice for your prospecting snacks and meals. By combining B2B lead generation campaigns and sales prospecting, you fire up cold calls and free yourself from cold outreach. You know the marketing emails they engaged with, blog posts they read, or resources they downloaded. This information becomes the basis of your call and immediately shows your prospect you understand their concerns.
Expertly mix marketing and sales
A healthy balance is key in life, diets, and your sales and marketing. Read this article to get the right strategic mix: When To Use Lead Generation Campaigns versus Sales Prospecting.
GET TAILORED SALES PROSPECTING STRATEGIES AND PUSH PAST ROADBLOCKS
If you want someone who will hold you accountable and push you past your roadblocks, sign up for our coaching or training sessions today. Here are 3 ways we help teams and individual salespeople:
How-To Cold Call Training
Increase your confidence, capture the attention of B2B decision makers, and set more appointments.
Consultative Selling Training
Transition out of transactional sales and become a partner your clients seek out for recommendations and services.
Anyone in your organization can work with our expert sales coaches to improve processes, skills, and systems so your organization achieves its sales goals.