There is a golden rule in selling: “Spend more time with better prospects.” So, what are the characteristics of an ideal or “better” prospect? Below listed are 7.
First, he is someone who can and will buy your product. If he is incapable of purchasing for whatever reason—unable to afford your price, for example—you are wasting your time. He must be willing and able to pay, and within a reasonable period of time.
Second, he has a genuine need that your product can fill. Clearly, if he does not, his willingness and ability to pay is irrelevant.
Third, he is willing and able to make a buying decision in the near future. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time getting nowhere, an expense you want to avoid. If you are selling to a corporation, be sure that the person with whom you are dealing has decision-making powers or is at least a center of influence within the company.
Fourth, he knows you, likes you and respects you. This is the reason you must be diligent in building a positive personal brand.
Fifth, he perceives high value in your product, which you accomplish by building a powerful corporate brand.
Sixth, he places a higher value on the benefits he will enjoy as a result of purchasing your product than on the price.
Seventh, he ideally represents an excellent potential source of further sales and future referrals.
One of the biggest obstacles to success is fear. This is especially true of prospecting, phoning or calling upon strangers. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the average person is sabotaged by the fear of rejection, by his or her concern for the opinions or approval of others. This fear of rejection can feed upon itself until it literally controls a person’s entire life.
Not knowing how to properly prospect inevitably results in doing it poorly. This leads to failure, resulting in the very thing you fear, which in turn reinforces the fear. You find yourself caught in a closed loop: Fear of Rejection –> Failure and Rejection –> Greater Fear and Rejection.
The good news is that, just as fear and poor performance feed on each other, they can also eliminate each other. As you become more skilled in prospecting, you achieve better results and your fear of prospecting diminishes. You may never reach the point where you are not somewhat uneasy about prospecting but by learning how to do it well, you will learn to more easily manage your anxiety and master the prospecting process to the point where you will be able to confidently generate all the new business you can handle.
This article was originally published by Convention Business Travel
Published: December 13, 2013