ACTG Sales Management Blog

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80/20 Prospecting Time

Posted by Jack Kasel on Thu, Jun 13, 2019

The most successful salespeople are always challenging and adapting their personal sales process to be more effective, but they don’t challenge the notion of the importance of making prospecting their A priority every week. 

They know that no matter how successful they are, if they don’t continue to add new relationships, that eventually, their business will decline. 


As we think about all of the things as sales professionals we're supposed to do, it really comes down to three things to get paid: 

  • Find Opportunities
  • Qualify them
  • Get a decision . . . We love Yes’, but No’s are OKit’s all the stuff in the middle that bothers us.

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I want to focus on the first thing we get paid to do and that's to find opportunities.  There are many ways we can find opportunities; cold calls, drop in’s, direct marketing, social selling (LinkedIn and Twitter), getting introductions, etc. 

Although there are many ways we can prospect, some provide a higher return on the biggest investment we can make, and that’s our time.  In a previous blog, I tried to debunk the “time management” problem.  It isn’t a time management problem, it’s a priority management problem

As we focus on prospecting, the least return on our investment is cold calling.  For all the time you invest in cold calling, the actual return (speaking to a decision maker) is extremely low.  We know it’s a necessary evil, but not a permanent problem.  On the other hand, it is a proven fact, the highest return on our prospecting timeis in getting introductions.  

So here is what I would like you to consider:

  1. Time blocking
    • Do you have time set aside each week to prospect? If you don’t, you would be well-served to block time to prospect
  2. Allocate your time within the time block you’ve scheduled
    • If you have allocated an hour a day, my recommendation would be:
      • If you have allocated 15 minutes to cold call, you should be able to get 15 calls in within that time. If you call 15, you will probably speak with two people.  How long does it take to NOT talk to 13 people?  You can make a lot of calls in 15 minutes if you are focused.
      • 15 minutes for social selling to find introductions—maybe not sell, but find introduction opportunities.
        • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging—whichever you are allowed to do within your work rules, do it on a regular basis.
      • 30 minutes on getting introductions
        • Calling people and saying “I’m looking to expand my base of contacts” Or “I’m looking to meet great people such as yourself, when can we get together to determine if we can help each other?”
        • Identify your 15 best clients and make it a goal to get three introductions from each of them. How much success would you have with 45 new names to call?

This is just a rough outline on what you can do but the big takeaways are this:

  1. Prioritize prospecting—make it a significant part of your week.
  2. Prioritize how you are prospecting—get introductions—it will provide the highest return on your time invested.

Someone needs what you do, so go find them and start prospecting today to find more of them!

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Topics: Prospecting, introductions, Cold Calling, selling and social media, time blocking, 80/20 Principle

Social Media & Selling - "Catch Them All"

Posted by Tony Cole on Wed, Jul 20, 2016

Guest Post By Alex Cole, Recruitment Specialist, Hire Better Salespeople


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you have all heard about the newest craze- Pokemon Go. If you haven’t, then I’m sure you’ve seen random herds of people walking around with their noses in their phones. Well, that’s because the newest and “greatest” game has graced 2016 with its presence.

Though I am not personally a proponent of the game, I have to give it credit for the impact it’s had on our community over the last week. People are getting out, getting exercise and socializing with other people, who are doing the same exact thing as them!

There are two categories of people here - those of us who sit back and chuckle at those running around trying to catch an imaginary character or those getting out and actively trying to “hunt” them down.

So, how is this relevant to you and what does it have to do with selling?

Typically, salespeople are good at one of two things- relationship building or social selling. Social selling is utilizing social media outlets to: share posts, give business updates, recruit new hires and prospect for new leads, stay connected and many other things. Those outlets include sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Anthony Cole Training Group partners with Objective Management Group primarily for their highly predictive sales assessment. One of the things that their sales assessment tests for is one’s ability to utilize social selling tools. The experiment OMG conducted included the following theory:

“Those that are not good at relationship building will be better at selling socially.”

After comparing 5,000 pieces of data, they’ve concluded this: 11% of salespeople are good at social selling, 16% are good at relationship building and only 5% are good at both. That means 68% of salespeople are ineffective at both social selling and relationship building.

I would say those are pretty concerning statistics. Do your salespeople stink at building relationships? If they do, are they at least good at selling socially? Per the statistics mentioned, it would not appear that way. So, how do you fix the problem?

Well, here are 3 simple tips to help you with your team’s social selling problems:

  1. Make an ACTUAL effort - When people are unsure/frightened/nervous about doing something, they tend not to put in 100%. Change your mindset to be one that says “I can do it” as opposed to “I can maybe do it.”
  2. Set time aside just for social media - I’m on social media 3 to 4 hours per week: writing posts, recruiting for my clients or sharing articles that I find interesting and helpful. If you set time aside and put it in your calendar, you are more likely to stick to your schedule and get it done.
  3. Join groups - It is the easiest step to becoming immersed into the social selling world. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all have communities and chat groups for sales professionals. Joining these types of groups can help you expand your knowledge base, promote your business and get your name out there.

So, next time you see a group of twenty-something year olds wandering around the local park or gym, know they are chasing an imaginary character, but you are chasing the real thing.

Happy hunting!

Topics: social media, pokemon go, selling and social media

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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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