Sales isn’t for everyone. It can be repetitive, demoralising and lonely. But, it can also be exhilarating, rewarding and opportunistic. While some people don’t like making calls and actively avoid the telephone, others embrace it and actually enjoy it. The ‘Prospecting Mindset’ is all about proactivity, intuition and action. It’s the difference between a do-er and a thinker or, worse, a procrastinator.
Some people just love sales. But why? The thought of making calls for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week fills some people with dread. Not the prospector, though. The prospector relishes it.
The Prospecting Mindset
Whenever there is a divide between a top salesperson and a struggling salesperson, you can almost guarantee there will be one thing that is the same every time. The top salesperson displays a willingness and talent for making calls and scheduling meetings. The struggling salesperson doesn’t. Because the top salesperson is a willing prospector, they create opportunities where there were none before.
Acquiring the Prospecting Mindset
The creation of opportunity: If you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never get anywhere. It applies to prospecting. If you don’t create a deal, you’re never going to close a deal. Fortune favours the bold, or the seed must be planted for the crops to grow, as they say. Opportunity creation is perhaps the most significant sales activity for success. Without it, you’ll be lagging behind. Secondary is opportunity capture, as you can’t have one without the other. The first focuses on finding and creating new opportunities, the second on closing them. If you only focus on improving two things, focus on these two. Without opportunities, you don’t have the chance to take them.
Selling to help someone: It’s easy to fall into the emotionless trap of selling simply for money, or just because it’s a job. However, the best salespeople believe they can truly help their prospects with what they are selling. The aim of prospecting is to find someone who you think you can help, but you need to believe it. You don’t call every single company out there, because you know which companies will benefit most from your product/service and insights. You focus on the good fit companies you know you can help. This mindset begins and ends with your belief that you can improve the prospect’s results. You know the prospect’s current way of doing something, and you know it could be better. You do not sell a product or a service, you sell a solution to solve their problems. Focus on what problems you can help your prospects solve, and what better results you can deliver.
Trading value for time: Trading value for time is a really successful mindset for prospecting. Prospects don’t want to waste time, so you need to believe that what you have for the prospect is worth them hearing. If you don’t really believe in what you are saying is adding value, you’ll not get the results you want. Doubt creates hesitation. And hesitation equals missed opportunities. When you believe in the value you can offer a prospect, you’ll suddenly feel a lot more positive about prospecting. Think, ‘I know what I have to say will provide value for this prospect.’ It’s about positivity, energy and belief. Think what you want the prospect to take away from a meeting with you.
It’s not a personal rejection: Every salesperson in the world will have had ‘no’ said to them multiple times. It happens. But, it’s not personal. Prospecting requires thick skin, and you need to accept that not everyone will want or need what you have to offer. Your prospect is actually saying no to your value proposition. Remember that. If you find yourself up against a ‘no’. Find out why. Dig deeper for context. Go back to improve your value proposition. Don’t let it ruffle your feathers. Deal with the objection head-on. And don’t be afraid to go back for a second effort. Quite often, prospects say no to every salesperson, regardless of what they say. The ones who go back earn the prospect’s time.
These mindsets are all slightly different and can be adapted to your own skills. Ultimately, prospecting never hurt anyone, but not doing it proactively will hurt your own chances. Don’t prospect because you have to. Prospect because you want to. Because you believe in what you can offer people. Finding that ‘Prospecting Mindset’ will set you up for future success.