A Successful Prospecting Experiment Part 1
Regardless of where you are in your business career, if you need customers, you will always have the need to be your best at prospecting. Here is a simple yet proven approach to a very important part of your workday!
Remember when you took chemistry back in high school or junior high? If you were like me, you loved to mix things up and see what kind of mess you could make, I mean the bigger the explosion the better…right? With that being said I want to take you back to the lab so to speak with that same enthusiasm and conduct a prospecting experiment that if handled correctly can create positive long term results but, if handled incorrectly, can produce a mess that may become too big to clean up. Grab your lab coat and let’s go!
The Controllables, The Variables and The Results
As with all experiments, I recall that there are specific components to the process. There are the “controllables”; the things we are in charge of completely. There are the variables; the things we don’t know until we apply the controllables; and finally, the results; the undeniable outcome of our efforts.
Let’s look at the controllables (Okay I know this is not a real word, but just go with it). In the prospecting process, what are the things we control? Here are five A’s for you to consider:
First is our attitude. Do you look forward to making the call, sending the letter, knocking on the door? When you do these things are your expectations as such that you believe your best customer is just around the corner or do you believe another rejection looms. I know you read about the importance of your attitude all the time, but it simply cannot be overstated. Your attitude will determine when and if you prospect…even more so your urgency to keep it under control.
You control your activity. This is not your sales manager’s job or your associate’s job…it’s yours. You are in charge of keeping your funnel full. If your sales are down, or if your appointments aren’t where you want them to be, guess who controls how to change it? The economy, the market, or any other circumstances should not decide when you should pick up the phone. Regardless of any of these things, if you’re in sales and live on commissions or fees, I’m sure you will agree, you still have to eat in any economic environment!
Accountability: Personal ownership of the results. I hope each of us has a measure to what we are doing and a timeline in which to gage performance. Accountability should not be something our manager or supervisor forces us to do every Friday. It should be something we choose to do for ourselves. Control!
We determine how we evaluate or performance. We control assessments. While accountability is critical to success, how we assess our performance measures is of equal importance. For example: are you making enough calls? Are you calling the right people? Is there a better way or time to approach? Without proper attention to assessments you may find yourself on the business treadmill; getting a workout but the view never changes…I think you get the picture so let’s move on.
The final controllable is adjustments. Adjustments are actions on purpose. They are intentionally done to impact results. Adjustments are clear, identifiable steps to change the results in your favor. More calls between specific times, more letters to a specific neighborhood to be sent out on Tuesday for the next 4 weeks. These are identifiable steps you can track. And speaking of tracking, Have you ever said “the next time…” or “I’ll start doing that when… only to discover that those dates become an obscure idea that may one day actually show up on your calendar. When you identify the next move forward, implement it right away. Don’t wait for a sign, remember who is in control!
In part 2 of “A Prospecting Experiment” we will address the variables and how we mix them with what we control to provide consistent, positive prospecting results.