A salesperson friend of mine called me up and the conversation went like this …
Salesperson: They have re-organised again and I have a set of fresh accounts.
Me: What a great opportunity.
Salesperson: But I’ve got to ring them all up.
Me: How many you got?
Me: Come on, with tools like LinkedIn, how long will it take to profile 160 accounts and ring them all up?
Salesperson: Yes but ….. yes but …. yes but …
Me: Come on, it will take a couple of days, a week tops. If there is nothing there you go back to your manager and ask for some new accounts.
I couldn’t believe that a set of fresh accounts that the salesperson hadn’t spoken to (in fact the company hadn’t spoken to) wasn’t seen as a great opportunity.
Maybe it is the “hunter” in me that likes to find that opportunity that nobody knows about. And of course, there is no better feeling than closing something that you have created from scratch.
So, what’s the problem?
Many things, often companies lose the prospecting culture, that hunger that what we have right now isn’t good enough. The need to talk to people about our product and service.
Of course, you will get rejection. But it’s a race.
If your competition is out there finding accounts then why not you and why are you not finding them before them?
The race is to get through as many rejections as you can. Bring them on.
So, what did I tell my friend to do.
Block out time in your diary.
Get a room, close the door and switch off your phone, email and everything that distracts you.
Research your target territory and put the details in a spreadsheet.
Now the hard work. You call them up.
It may amaze you that a social seller is telling you to call people up, but this is the first part of the strategy and one your manager will understand when you are reviewed.
Once you have called everybody, twice, start with social.
I’m assuming you already have a personal brand. If you don’t, the results of this won’t be as good.
You then need to see if you have people in your network in these accounts, or if you can get referrals from your network. So, selling through your network in other words.
Yes, this is hard work. Yes, you will get rejection. But to prospect your territory you need to put in the hard work or, I will be honest, maybe sales isn’t for you.
Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.