Prospecting in a Tough Market

This is a little different blog post for me. I just got back from presenting at General Motors South Central PIE Show. For those of you not in the automobile business this is a program for dealerships who are involved in selling to small and medium size businesses. These are a great bunch of men and women who base their entire career on building relationships. For you “non automobile” readers this sounds too good to be true! Trust me, this is the truly great side of the auto industry. I have friends at both GM and Chrysler and I can truly say from the manufacturer to the dealership level, this side of the business is all about helping others be successful.
My two presentations were on “Prospecting in a Tough Market.” The concepts I taught would apply to any sales industry. It occurred to me that this would be a great topic for today’s blog post! So here we go!
1. Cold call prospecting is the least efficient way to get appointments and see the decision maker. Out of 20 cold calls on small businesses you will be lucky to see one decision maker!
2. Do your research and do your initial prospecting to warm or referral prospects over the telephone. You can make 20 telephone calls in a morning and have 4 to 8 appointment calls lined up for the week in just one morning!
3. Script everything you do from telephone prospecting to face to face meetings! Your words should be confident and sincere. Practice, practice, practice until you are perfect and totally confident!
4. Add value on every call. We teach the commercial sales consultants to offer to network with prospects and help them grow their business. The small business owner is always appreciative and is willing to talk!
5. Plan on getting a face to face meetings at least five times before you expect them to give you an opportunity. Most sales professionals give up after the first or second call. No wonder that less than 20% of sales professionals are making 80% of the sales! They are “politely persistent!”
6. Be creative in your actions, words, and the value you give. Never stop thinking of new ways to impact the prospect in a positive way. Not only stand out from the crowd, stand above the crowd!
7. Stay positive! Look at every sales call as a chance to help someone and you will do great!
I want to thank everyone who came to my program! We had a full house in both sessions and I appreciate the many kind comments from the group. These are the greatest group of sales professionals on the planet! Ron McCollister, thanks for taking action right away. Ron wrote me today and has already started to implement ideas! Ron is with Chevyland in Texas and has been in commercial for three months. I predict he will be a star!
Guys, live to win!