Thu 4 Oct 2007
For small business owners, prospecting is one of the most important activities you will undertake. There are many people who do not consider prospecting essential, and they attempt to avoid it whenever possible. However, in doing so, they fail to realize its importance and how effective it can be.
Both small business owners and sales professionals need to learn how to prospect effectively — otherwise, your business will probably not grow as fast as it should.
The Importance of Prospecting
The first important thing to know is that prospecting is not taught very often, but it should be. Many small business owners don't feel comfortable prospecting and they don't really know how, so they just don't do it.
Prospecting is a critical skill that must be learned. There are many courses on the Internet that give step-by-step guides to successful prospecting. When you are prospecting, remember that preparedness is a must and can make the difference when it comes to closing the deal. You should know in advance who you are calling and for what purpose. It helps to have a script to follow — this makes it easier for you to concentrate on making your sales pitch.
Don't Stop After the First Call
Statistics show that prospects usually buy after the third call. So the prospecting call, which is the first call, is considered to be just an introductory event. Yet, many small business owners give up after the second call, especially if the prospect does not make a purchase. However, if no sale is made after the second call, that does not mean that the sale is lost. It is important to be patient and also to prepare and persist if you want your prospecting to be successful.
You will get better at prospecting the more you do it, which is why it is important to keep trying. Look at this analogy - if a tennis player does not practice the game every day, then winning is much more difficult and goals are harder to attain. In the same way, it is essential that prospecting is also practiced on a regular basis.
Prospecting is probably the least favorite of all your business activities — but when you learn to do it well, you'll definitely reap the rewards.