Prospecting Is the Heart of Your Closing Problems

Prospecting is the Heart of Closing Problems - Man on Phone

Last month you had a healthy looking pipeline. So healthy you stopped actively prospecting and had to focus on meeting prospects, analyzing needs, and moving people through the funnel.

Now you are working on three to five hot prospects that just won’t close.

They were super excited at first. Now your leads won’t return your calls and emails go unanswered. You’ve even tried contacting other people in the organization to figure out what might be happening.

You need a few more deals to close to have a shot at making quota. Your sales quota isn’t an abstract number either. Without enough work, the company will have to lay off some additional employees – not to mention you won’t get the commissions you need to cover personal expenses.

So you research ways to get prospects to say yes – to close.

The problem according to Jeb Blount in “Fanatical Prospecting” is not with closing. Your problem lies elsewhere.

Desperate Times

When you are only working a few leads, each lead becomes much more important to you.

That is the problem. The focus shifts to your needs – you and your need to close a deal.

You stop listening and start pitching. You cease adding value at each step of the sales process. People can smell desperation.

They don’t like that feeling. There is a real risk that the salesperson does not have your best interest in mind. Even if they do, how will you know?

So they quietly go away. Your previously great leads ghost you.

It turns out the problem is not with your prospects.

It is you.

The 30 Day Rule and Your Sales Future

You stopped prospecting, and now you are feeling it. The only way to get out of this problem is to start prospecting immediately and be patient.

The sales activities you perform over the period of 30 days will affect the next 90 days.

The exact timeframes will depend on what you sell and your typical buying cycles, but the idea behind the rule remains. Stop feeding your sales pipeline, and you will get thin, and then starve.

You need to prospect even when you have a lot of prospects in the funnel. It is essential you do so. Leads can move from hot to delayed, or no in a heartbeat. So unless you like the feast and famine cycle, make prospecting a daily activity.

And about the need for patience?

It is not the fault of your prospects, leads, or clients that your pipeline is empty. You did this through inactivity, and you now need to be patient and do the work. Thirty days to impact the next ninety days.

And you cannot appear desperate, hurried, or pushy or they will avoid you.

Start Prospecting Now

Lead generation comes from a number of activities. Don’t rely on the actions you like (or don’t like) to drive your success.

Get good at them all. A carpenter has to know how to succeed with all their tools, and so do you.

The list of prospecting sources includes:

  • The phone
  • Email
  • LinkedIn
  • Other Social Media
  • Networking
  • Referrals
  • Marketing
  • Current and past clients

The most successful companies will get marketing and sales working well together. They will automate some of the sales processes in a way that supports both the salesperson and the prospect’s buying method.

The best and most successful salespeople won’t wait for the phone to ring. They will also add value all along the process, so the people they contact don’t feel they need to hide.

And they will always be searching for just one more person to help.

Does that sound like you?

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If you are interested in learning how you can give your sales teams the tools they need to succeed contact us for a free exploratory call.

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About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta’s mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.