Since the whole week has been dedicated to one of my very favorite subjects, Prospecting, I thought you might enjoy a little formula that I’ve used with people to get their business jump-started again and get them back into the practice of prospecting regularly.
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Feel free to use it or modify it to meet your own needs and your own style. Then, make sure to tell me how it went!
If your business has been stagnant, and you feel like that phone is too hard to pick up, here is my recommended 90 Day Prospecting Plan to get you moving again!
The first part of the 90-Day Plan is really quite fun and SURPRISINGLY rewarding!
Step #1: Ask the Magical Question
A) Find 15 people each month in your professional sphere to reach out to out of the blue. Ask them to set aside 20 minutes with you to catch up.
On this call, find out what they are up to. What’s new? What are they working on?
They are likely to ask you the same kind of questions. Be ready to share some recent client victories and let them know that you are now focusing on growing your business and looking for customers who are looking to accomplish exactly what your other customers are accomplishing. Don’t ask for referrals. Just let them know.
THEN, ask the Magical Question:
What can I do for you?
Dig in. Because at first, they’ll probably say “Nothing, I’m good!”
Go a little deeper. You mean it. Ask things like: What projects are you working on? Any connections you’re trying to make – you never know who a person might know? Anything I can help you promote?
And, then listen, see if you can help. Thank them, and hang up!
Repeat 14 more times each month for all three months.
B) Attend one networking event, trade show or conference each of the next three months. Go armed with the magical question:
What can I do for YOU?
Make it all about them! Of course, if they ask if there is something they can do for you, feel free to share what might help. But, that’s not the purpose of the question. It is all about THEM!!! You are building a bank of goodwill that will always pay off. Aren’t you having some fun now? This is networking made EASY!
C) Take 15 Social Media actions a month. This could include Retweeting or Sharing someone’s content. It can include commenting on someone’s LinkedIn article or their blog post. It could include posting a Facebook article that helps people who could use your expertise. Mix it up. Make it all about THEM and make them feel important!
Step #2: Set Your Prospecting Goal
Most people I meet are able to set and meet a goal if they are clear about the kinds of activities they are reliable to do and what promises they are reliable to keep.
When you are setting your prospecting goal, ask yourself:
Am I more reliable to:
- Keep a promise to prospect during certain times of certain days? For instance, I am going to prospect on Monday afternoons from 3 – 5 and Wednesdays from 9 – 12.
- Keep a promise to prospect a certain number of hours per week? You promise to prospect for 5 hours each week, you’re just not sure when those five hours are going to be.
- Or, my favorite, keep a promise to have a certain number of prospecting conversations each week? I have a whiteboard with 18 open spaces. Each time I have a sales/prospecting conversation (which is NOT the same as an email or text exchange – unless it leads to a SIGNED deal) I put a name next to a number. It’s clear when I have met my prospecting goal and clear when I have not. I do not stop until they are all filled in!
Now that you have chosen your prospecting goal, keep it like a SUPERSTITION – like LIFE WILL NOT TURN OUT unless you meet this goal!
Step #3: Define Your Trigger Event
Your customers had a reason to buy from you when they first entered into a business relationship with you. What was it?
Had they grown to a specific size and now they needed HR services?
Did something happen in the industry that changed the way they have to do business and you can help?
Did they find that they needed automation to keep up with demand and your company helps create efficiencies that allow them to do that?
Not every person or every company is a good customer for you and timing is everything.
Look from your customers’ point of view. Why did they turn to your product or service when they did? (If you’re not sure, CALL THEM UP AND ASK THEM).
Now, figure out how you are going to recognize that a person or a company is about to experience that trigger or is experiencing it right now. Then, you will build your target prospect list….
Step #4: Set Your Prospecting Budget
Serious businesses spend up to 30% on their marketing and outreach efforts. Figure out what your budget is and look to either:
- Buy a tool that helps you get the contact information quickly for your targeted buyer
- Buy a lead list – from a reputable company like ExchangeLeads.io (My Go-To Favorite)
- Buy Facebook ads that help you generate leads
- Sign up for an event or conference to attend with your targeted buyers
- Hire an Expert to do your prospecting
If you are truly bootstrapping, make a list of your Top 100 targeted customers and build the contact information and the reason for your outreach into the list before you start reaching out. Now, you can tick off 33 people to reach out to every month – making your way through all 100. I betcha you can’t get even half-way through the list before you’ve got the business you want walking through your door!
The beauty of this 90-Day Plan is that it makes you feel like a truly useful and helpful human being. Thinking of other people’s needs and finding ways to help! That is what sales is all about after all.
Go out, find the people who need you, and don’t forget to…
Love ‘em ALL UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl
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