I’m focusing on the topic of prospecting discipline in this blog because I have set a personal goal to take my business to the next level in 2017 and I thought you might relate to some of the adjustments I intend to make. (I also thought that if I make my intentions public it will provide additional motivation to get it done!)
My goal is to increase my sales by 20% over what I did in 2016. (I’m pleased to let you know that in 2016 I set a new sales record for myself. My objective is to break that record by 20% in 2017.)
I’m a fairly disciplined guy, but I have realized that how I’m applying discipline in the area of prospecting is causing me to experience a roller coaster ride in my sales revenue and personal income.
In my prospecting efforts, I’m more of a “sprinter” than a “marathoner”. It’s very clear to me now that this is not only causing spikes and dips in my sales; it’s also causing me a fair amount of stress and anxiety.
In being real with myself I doubt I can sell much more in 2017 by using the same approach I’ve used in the past.
One of my favorite speakers was Jim Rohn. He said: “In order to achieve goals you have not achieved before you have to become someone you haven’t been before.”
It’s time for me to make some personal adjustments and change it up!
Here are the 5 prospecting adjustments I intend to make in 2017:
- I will start to dig my well before I’m thirsty! In other words rather than wait until my pipeline “alarm” goes off indicating that I’ve closed most of my well qualified deals I will take a more consistent approach to prospecting. I will make fewer calls per prospecting session but will increase the number of sessions per month that I’m on the phone and email. This should increase my level of comfort, reduce stress and keep my pipeline of qualified leads at the level necessary to avoid the dips. (Of course I will dedicate some time to leveraging LinkedIn and Social Media as well. The magic is in the mix!)
- I will take blocking out my weekly prospecting sessions on my calendar more seriously. When I don’t do this I find it’s too easy for me to blow off prospecting. (Again the idea is to make prospecting less painful by making fewer calls per session. As a result of the prospecting sessions being shorter it will make it easier to fit them into my schedule and should also help to reduce “prospecting avoidance and burnout”.)
- I will focus my prospecting on several vertical markets and will go deeper in my research and understanding of the business challenges and opportunities that they face. I will further customize my messaging to ensure that I am consistently providing the value they demand.
- I will take my creativity in “following up” with prospects up a notch or two. Most deals are closed in the follow-up process and I want to be sure I continue to deliver maximum value in this critical phase of the sales process and avoid being viewed as a “pest”.
- I will pay increased attention to my personal ratios; how many calls I have to make to identify a qualified lead, and how many qualified leads are required to close one sale. Using this information in conjunction with my pipeline will let me know where I stand at any given point in time and the actions I need to take to stay on track.
Here’s the bottom line for all of us.
It’s not the most intelligent or most experienced business person that consistently wins and is capable of moving the needle on performance.
The business people, and sales people are “business people”, that advance are the ones that reflect on their performance, make the needed adjustments and take massive action primarily in the area of prospecting.
I wish the best for you this year and would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
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