What is prospecting? Simply put, prospecting is putting new potential customers or new business into your sales pipeline. It's not cold calling, although many people think it is.
If you think back to the mid 1800's and the gold rush, prospectors went searching for gold. When they found a few gold nuggets, they didn't stop, did they? Of course not. They kept prospecting for more nuggets.
How often do we land a few gold nuggets and then stop? Having been in sales since 1980 and having observed thousands of salespeople, I see it happen all the time.
Wikipedia defines prospecting as “the physical search for” and “physical labor.” No one said it was going to be easy. The dictionary defines a prospect as “the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring, a person regarded as a potential customer or subscriber, and a person as regarded as likely to succeed.”
You are more likely to succeed in sales if you prospect – continuously. Over the years, I have witnessed many salespeople fail because they failed to put new people into their sales pipeline. There is not a week that goes by that I don't put at least one new prospect into my pipeline. Having said that, I haven't made a “cold call” in over eight years. I am also not saying that cold calling doesn't work, because it does. I built my business on cold calling. But at this point in my business, I don't make cold calls because I receive so many referrals.
Where do your prospects come from? They may come from a variety of sources: referrals, networking, centers of influence, customers, leads that your company has generated, or associations you belong to.
So what are you searching for? Aren't you searching for the ideal customer? What does the ideal customer look like? What associations do they belong to? Have you ever sat down and made a list of who your ideal prospect is? Take your best customers and make a list of what makes them your best customers. Once you have done that, begin to duplicate them.
When searching for prospects, remember to go where they are. You can't catch a whale in the pond in your backyard.
Today's Action Ideas – Prospecting is the lifeblood of all businesses; act as if this were true.
- How many new prospects are you going to put into your pipeline this month?
- What does your ideal prospect look like?
- Go where your prospects are!
If you liked this post and want to receive our Prospecting Expert Newsletter which will help you to attract more Prospects, more Clients and more Sales visit http://theprosepectingexpert.com/.