Recently, I was having a conversation with a client who mentioned that, even in our current economy, his top salespeople were still leading the pack! They were doing so with numbers a bit lower than the previous year. In actuality, everyone’s numbers had dropped across the board, although some drops were more severe than others.
The client went on to explain that some fluctuation was to be expected, and discussed how important it would be to make sure that next year’s goals would be realistic for his team. The conversation quickly turned to why his top people were still at the top even in a down economy. Were they all the same, or did they share certain attributes that contributed to their success? The common thread turned out to be that his top salespeople were all good at prospecting. In the case of each stand-out performance:
- A formal prospecting plan was in place (tailored to what worked for the individual).
- Action was taken to implement the plan.
- Personal goals were set (Not by a manager, but by the salesperson).
- Regular personal reviews were established to determine if the right results were being obtained.
- Flexibility was given to tweak the plan when needed.
- The salesperson was disciplined enough to follow the plan.
- They had mastery of more than one prospecting technique (there are many different strategies for prospecting; cold-calling is just one of them).
If you will mirror these seven steps, chances are you will find your prospecting efforts to be very effective. When times are tough, the key to success is to have a plan, take appropriate action and remain flexible to course-correct if the plan isn’t working. Above all, having the discipline to stay the course is critical!