Yikes! Just reading that headline makes me feel bad for writing it. After all, I just told all of you, my readers, that no one likes you. Not a fun message to deliver, but in prospecting, it is an accurate statement - at least in the early stages of your prospecting efforts.
Think about it. You, a stranger, are reaching out to another stranger, asking them to give you money in exchange for a product or service about which they know little to nothing. Of course, they don't like you!
So, get over it and move on.
Alright, now that we know no one likes us, it is time to win them over.
Over the last handful of weeks, we have shared the following:
You must prospect. Prospecting is the oxygen of your sales efforts.
Speak their language. Connect with your prospects by speaking a language they not only understand but, more importantly, care about.
Share your value. Captivate, differentiate, and validate your value and understand that your customer is always asking, "What's in it for me?" So, tailor your message to answer that question effectively.
Do those things, and you have the best formula to win at this “long game” we call prospecting.
But in the long game, there will always be obstacles. I’m talking hang-ups, objections, nasty email replies, and much more. Remember, no one likes you.
Sales requires psychological stamina, and as a recent participant of one of my sales training sessions said, “A short memory.” Forget about those negative moments, focus on creating value and strive to tap into your prospect’s operating reality so you can offer solutions that will resonate with them.
It takes on average 11.5 touches before a prospect will speak with us. Most salespeople give up after 4. They feel dejected, struggle to navigate the obstacles, and give up. This is because they failed to gain control of the situation.
In prospecting, you must establish control. Without control, your prospect will step in, take control and show you the door. So how do we establish control?
Control comes when you…
Research your prospect prior to a meeting
Have a goal for the meeting
Have a secondary goal
Ask great questions designed to uncover your prospect’s pain
Actively listen to their responses and ask turnaround questions to further explore what you uncover
Utilize response checks to gauge for understanding
Anticipate objections and role practice those moments with a colleague prior to your call or meeting
Bring them to a need recognition
Gain their commitment to proceed to the next phase in the process
Here’s a tip. Your prospect would rather you be in control. They may not admit it, but it’s true. When you are in control, you drive the process by asking great questions, referencing important details found during your research, listening to and addressing your prospect's concerns, and confidently bringing them to a recognition that partnering with you is something they need.
When you are in control, you focus on what is important to the prospect, and in turn, they grow more and more confident in you. Now, they want to buy from you. They are comfortable with you, begin to trust and respect you and dare I say they begin to like you. Now, how about that!
Want more prospecting help? Our virtual prospecting workshop shares prospecting best practices and provides tools and processes to advance relationships, and includes creating a multi-week touch plan for ongoing success. Click here to up your prospecting game.