Some major shifts have occurred in the way that you should be prospecting for sales opportunities. But has your prospecting plan changed with it?
I have always enjoyed watching the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” because of the sales scene with Alec Baldwin. You know the scene, don’t you? ABC – which means always be closing. But I prefer ABP – always be prospecting. After all, there will not be much to close if you don’t have a prospecting plan that fills your pipeline with closeable opportunities.
I started my sales career in the early 1990’s and yes, I did have a “bag phone” for my first cell phone. I laugh now as all cell phones can fit in your pocket or your purse but back then the bag phone was a big deal. Fortunately, our cell phones have changed quite dramatically since then.
Do you know what else has changed? If you guessed prospecting strategies, you guessed correctly. To be even more clear, some major shifts have occurred in the way that you should be prospecting for sales opportunities.
The last 5 years have seen two major changes in how buyers interact with sellers:
- Prospects are starting the sales process all by themselves. No longer are they sitting and waiting for sellers to find them. They are the ones who get the ball rolling by reaching out to sellers who have been recommended to them (this is precisely why referrals…or what we call introductions are so important).
- And when those prospects start the sales process, they are armed with more information than ever before. As it turns out this thing called the internet might just be around for a few more years.
So here is my question for you – cell phones have changed. The times have changed. Selling has changed. But has your prospecting plan changed with it? Do you track your prospecting effort? Do you measure the effectiveness of the elements in your prospecting plan so you know which ones you should do more of and which ones you should consider putting off to the side? Are you taking a diversified approach meaning you use a combination of phone and email? Are you including video when you prospect? Are you blogging and putting out value-added content that positions you as a thought leader or even a subject matter expert?
ABP – always be prospecting. Just don’t forget your prospecting plan before you start.