Drop and Give Me 5 Prospecting Exercises

(This ongoing blog series is derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.” The book was written for printers to use as a guide in training their sales teams through a series of two-hour sessions over 48 weeks.)


In my first two blogs, I wrote about the psychological factors that prevent salespeople from prospecting.

This blog is meant to help them overcome the barriers that prevent many from prospecting at levels consistent with a company’s growth objectives.

It’s time for us to have some exercise…some prospecting calisthenics, if you will.

Exercise #1 (30 minutes)
Review the characteristics of the nine types of call reluctance discussed last week. As part of the review, and to inject some fun into the exercise, think about yourselves and see if you fit one or more of the characteristics. If one fits, then write a short paragraph suggesting how you might overcome the failure.

Exercise #2 (15 minutes)
Reread the description of a desurgent salesperson from last week’s blog. Find someone who will be a role playing partner. You’re the sales manager and in this role play you are trying trying to motivate the salesperson to get out of the office and make new account sales calls. The salesperson should use all the classic excuses, such as “Our competitor is already locked in at most of my prospects.” or “You never give me any leads.”

List strategies for coping with salespeople who can find a thousand reasons to avoid sales calls.

Exercise #3 (15 minutes)
Make a list of your top three personal barriers to new account development. The lists need not be limited to the nine types of call reluctance. Review your list with your spouse, significant other or the guy sitting next to you at the bar.

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.

Related Content