Mark Hunter’s book High Profit Prospecting is a must read for all sales teams not only because it motivates teams to sell smarter but also because it teaches strategies that work to improve your sales. The following are the top six lessons our team learned from the book:
The telephone is essential, stop making excuses not to use it
Salespeople don’t like calling because of discomfort or because they believe it doesn’t work since nobody answers. However, Hunter advocates for prospecting that’s done through multiple communications tools and that includes picking up the phone. The phone is important, you just need to learn to make great informed calls which benefit your clients by pinpointing the challenges their businesses face and giving them a solution to their pain.
Persistence is key to prospecting, use all the channels necessary
Sales is a long game, it’s not about making one phone call or sending an email and hoping it’ll be enough. You need to tap into all relevant channels to your audience and keep reaching out. It takes between 7-13 touches to make a sale so don’t expect to sell with one email or phone call. Remain persistent but friendly.
You don’t need to throw all the information around right away
You want to make sure to keep your communications tight and focused on what will interest or benefit the other person. Each communication should have a call to action, a benefit, a personal connection and it should be time sensitive. To keep your message within these guidelines, don’t give away every single thing your product or service can do. Reveal piece by piece as they become relevant.
Ask for referrals early and often
You should ask for referrals from your customers every time your customer sees value in what you do. If you do this, you’ll be asking often and without hesitations. Referrals strengthen relationships between salespeople and customers because your customers have to consider their relationship with you and think about all the great things you help them do.
Always be on - holidays, and end of the year too
You might think that a major holiday will be a write-off but there’s nothing further from the truth. As Hunter writes, “thinking you can’t prospect in December is accepting the fact one month out of twelve (or eight percent of your year) is not effective.” It’s smart to keep prospecting so that when January comes around you hit the ground running with appointments and demos set up. Because people are in a more laid-back mood, they have more time to hear your pitch and they’ll be impressed that you’re still working when everyone else is stuffing their faces and lazing off.
Recognize your prospects vs suspects
It’s much better to have a smaller pipeline but to have it filled with prospects that have the best probability of becoming customers. The way to do this is to evaluate the intentions of your prospects as soon as you can. The more time you spend with suspects (people who aren’t a good fit or aren’t interested), the less you’ll be able to spend with prospects.
These are just the top six lessons we learned from Mark Hunter in his latest. Make sure to read the book to learn the rest. We’ve already implemented his lessons into our business and we’re sure that once you do, you’ll see changes in your business too.