Applying Bucket List Thinking in Sales
Out of balance.
I don’t know.
These are all great answers to the question, “How would you describe your overall prospecting efforts?”
In a perfect world, prospecting efforts are balanced. That is, we have an equal number of new leads, contacted leads, and leads close to becoming customers. Rarely, however, is that the case.
Take a few minutes to list your new business activity in three categories...three buckets.
In Bucket #1, list those prospects that have been identified but with which you have taken no action whatsoever.
In Bucket #2, list those prospects that you have attempted to gain an appointment or have actually met with but have no active projects to date.
In Bucket #3, list those prospects where the only thing you are waiting for is a purchase order. That is, you have quoted a job or you are working on a project and just need the final okey dokey.
Now, push back from the computer or the pad of paper and have a look. Do you have roughly the same number in each category? Have some of the names in their respective bucket been there long enough to have grown mold?
If I had to generalize and guess (two key skills in a Consultant’s arsenal) I would imagine that Bucket #1 shows deficiencies in quantity and quality. For most of us, finding new opportunities is a primary challenge.
But, we are not judging here. The exercise is simply to point out to you the condition of your prospecting machine. By repeating this process on—at minimum, a monthly basis—you hold yourself accountable for feeding the hungry and unending appetite of new business development.
So as long as you are in Sales, this is one Bucket List item that you will never check off.
Nor should you.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.