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.
Exercise #4 (30 minutes)
Write a strategy for overcoming your top three prospecting barriers. Send me your strategies. Believe it or not, I will comment on them, give you a letter grade and mention your name in my Printing Impressions column and then you will be famous, or maybe infamous.
Exercise #5 (30 minutes)
Write two prospecting objectives for the next 12 months—the company’s fiscal year, the calendar year, or whatever timeframe works best for you. These objectives must be measurable and have deadlines. For example yours might read:
I intend to develop a qualified prospect list containing at least eight companies that buy work suitable for our six-color press and our coating equipment. In addition to the standard qualifications, I will consider these prospects ‘qualified’ when I have made at least two personal calls on the prospects’ decision makers.
Alright, get out there and exercise...and then get out there and sell something!
A Year of Selling Profitably
By Harris M. DeWese with Jerry Bray
Employ techniques and tools that turn weekly sales meetings into energetic learning experiences, resulting in a more enthusiastic, more motivated, and more effective sales force. Understand how these techniques and tools required to build successful marketing, sales and, ultimately, profits, will help you achieve “A Year of Selling Profitably.” Click to order a copy.
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.