Personal Finance

Three benefits of prospecting

SALES

john kageche

Summary

  • Prospecting frees you of the misleading notion that,Watakuja tu, meaning, if you have walk-in customers you don’t need to prospect.
  • Tell that to the stall owners in town who saw their walk-in traffic die when it started working from home and curfews forced it to leave town early and in a bigger hurry than before.
  • Those that had been prospecting already had social distanced friends on Facebook, WhatsApp groups or subscribers to their mailing lists who they had some control over unlike the ‘walk-ins’ they didn’t.

Let me state the obvious today. Because again and again, as obvious as it is, it is disturbing how rarely it happens. Sometimes, it makes me think that if breathing was not a reflex action, many sellers would forget to do it. How else do you explain that, despite the (obvious) knowledge that prospecting is the lifeline of successful selling, the vast majority of salespeople simply don’t do it or approach it with indifference? Prospecting is the never-ending search of potential buyers for what you are selling. It is the genesis of any sale. If it were breathing it would be inhaling. Today I want to share three of the many benefits of prospecting, to drive home its importance.

First, you relieve yourself of the extra tension of closing the sale; closing is getting the prospect’s (potential buyer’s) commitment to buy, usually via the exchange of money for your product. Too often, too many sellers have only this one prospect they are expecting to close.

The growing expectation builds tension with every quiet from the prospect and every query by the sales manager about the progress of the sale. The tension quickly builds to desperation when the manager says, “its 13 weeks now and you keep saying he’ll buy. He won’t. Who else are you looking at?” The seller’s stomach tightens. There’s no one else. Now, if the seller had more prospects and, therefore, more opportunities for a close, the tension would dissipate and the 13 weeks would be seen in a different light. “Don’t worry, some closes take time. Let’s just keep checking with him.”

Secondly, the man who doesn’t travel assumes his mother cooks best. Prospecting deepens your market intelligence. Prospects are bombarded by many different sellers; therefore, they are a repository of industry knowledge, as seen, and this is the crucial point, from the eyes of the buyer. A teacher once shared this: “We are a favourite for many bank salespeople selling loans. I am always eager to listen to the next one who comes calling. I ask questions based on the previous sellers’ pitches, and then ask for their loan repayment schedule for comparison purposes before making a decision.” A prospect may inform you of a new competitor or tell you about your dishonest colleague who is the reason why, “Most people from here are not buying from you.”

Thirdly, prospecting frees you of themisleading notion that,Watakuja tu, meaning, if you have walk-in customers you don’t need to prospect. Tell that to the stall owners in town who saw their walk-in traffic die when it started working from home and curfews forced it to leave town early and in a bigger hurry than before. Those that had been prospecting already had social distanced friends on Facebook, WhatsApp groups or subscribers to their mailing lists who they had some control over unlike the ‘walk-ins’ they didn’t. Prospecting, they had learnt, as you should, is not an idle sales activity.