When prospecting, salespeople usually focus on the wrong end of the problem. They focus on results, typically on the number of appointments made which, unfortunately, are virtually impossible to control with any degree of certainty. When they don’t achieve those objectives, prospecting becomes a very depressing activity. Yet we all realize that without enough prospecting activity, you’ll likely fail in your selling efforts.
When you stop stressing out about the number of appointments you make and, instead, focus on what you can control, every prospecting day can be successful. So build a recipe for success for yourself by focusing on the only thing you can control, which is the number of prospecting attempts you make.
It’s an old cliché that selling is a numbers game…and in many ways it’s true. The first step is to determine what you desire as a monthly income, then how many sales you need to close to make that income. From there you’ll need to determine how many proposals you have to make to close one deal and how many fact-finding meetings with a decision maker you must have to be invited back to present a proposal.
Obviously, you’ll need to determine how many decision makers you need to speak to in order to be invited in for an initial meeting. Finally, how many attempts (this can be a cold call or whatever prospecting activity you focus on) do you need to make to reach one decision maker? The number of attempts (activity, behavior) is the only thing you can control. Here’s a relatively simple example.
Prospecting Recipe for Success
Desired Monthly Income $ _______________
Avg. $ Commission per Sale _______________
# Sales Needed (Closes) _______________
# Proposals _______________
# Fact Finding Meetings _______________
# Contacts _______________
# Attempts (Dials, etc.) _______________
(We understand that you may not be a commission based salesperson, but you get the picture.)
To make it less daunting, divide the number of monthly attempts by the number of workdays in the month. For some it will be 5 attempts, for others a lot more. It doesn’t matter…it’s just a number.
Key to Success: Focus on the attempts you need to achieve the result, not the result itself. When you’ve hit your daily (or weekly) number, give yourself a pat on the back for doing a good job. (Then make one more call, just for good measure.)
Self-Study Assignment: Develop your own personal Prospecting Recipe/Activity Plan. Modify the one above as necessary to reflect your business realities. Commit to making the appropriate number of attempts each day or week to achieve your monthly income goals.