Paul Castain's Blog

The 7.5 Deadly Sins Of Prospecting!

Posted August 26, 2010

Do you believe in Sales Karma? If you would have asked me that 3 years ago, I would have invited you to lay off the hashish, but today I see it differently.

Lately, I’ve been the victim of just some awful attempts from sales people. They are so bad they make those crazy emails you get from those Nigerian lotteries look like marketing genius! Even the Sham Wow guy would be pissed!

I was all set to get up on my soapbox when I realized “I’ve been that guy” Not the “Slap Choppin Sham Wow” guy, “That guy” The guy who was completely, and utterly clueless when it came to prospecting.

So with that in mind, please allow me to introduce you to . . .

The 7.5 Deadly Sins of Prospecting with the crazy premise that you or someone you love might be suffering from CCS (Clueless Call Syndrome)

1)   Failure To Schedule Prospecting: Hunting new business is too important to your sales health to schedule it around everything else. Here’s a radical idea . . . consider scheduling everything else around your money activities by using this way cool Money Hours Schedule or perhaps you should consider a 10 Before 10 Strategy.  Here’s the bottom line. When you make an appointment with a client/prospect you keep the appointment. Right? Well its time you make an appointment with yourself. Oh, and guard that time my friend because no one else will!

2)   No Research: With all the ways for you to Pre Call Plan and cool tools like Insideview (I’m not affiliated with them) you need to hang your freakin head if you are still calling “cold”. Don’t even think about trying a stunt like that at the C Level. Big mistake muchacho!

3)   You Aren’t Compelling Enough: Pop quiz: How far into an email do you go before you decide if its worthy of your time? I’m good for about two sentences provided the subject line caught my attention. The suspicious side of my brain thinks decision makers might not be so generous. How many seconds does the average decision maker give you when listening to your message (voice mail or should you connect)? Seconds! Part of being compelling comes from the research. Part of it comes from you putting yourself in their shoes. Otherwise, you aren’t standing out from the more than 247 Billion Emails each day!

4)   You’re Predictable: If you are entering your call info into your CRM, please stop with the same day/ time for a call back thing. If you keep calling me every Tuesday at 3:00 don’t you think I see you coming from like 100 miles out? How about being predictable in using tired, clichéd rebuttals. Can we all meet next week and put “Feel, Felt and Find” out of its misery? Then there’s the ones who call and then immediately email . . . every time. Please change that up and consider tossing it out altogether unless you want to be congratulated for pissing someone off on two fronts in 2 mins.

5)   Confusing Professional Persistence With Being A Pain In The Ass: Consider using my handy dandy “Cool Down/Heat Up” technique. Its so simple it will blow your mind. Use your head and know when its time to let the contact cool down a bit to avoid having that “I just threw up in my mouth” feeling when someone tells you in great detail how annoying you’re being. Give it some time to cool down and then, heat that bad boy back up again!

6)   Giving Up Too Soon: I’ll spare you a long sermon since we just covered this on Tuesday. Altering the frequency of contact is a cool alternative to trashing a lead altogether. Things change Everyday Don’t ever forget that dude!

7)   Embracing The Phone As Your Only New Account Acquisition Tool. There are just way too many communication venues at your disposal for you to be clinging to the phone. I’m not dissin the phone and do understand that sooner or later we need to have a conversation, but I don’t see it as something your prospect is going to say “Yippee I got another call today” We need to be Showing Up with conventional networking, referrals, email, snail mail, social networking etc. Just in case you haven’t thought of this, here’s why. Because everyone has their preferred communication venue and you increase your probability of success by trying different approaches. I’m also of the belief that each venue if worked in concert, smiles at the other one which give you cumulative impact!

7.5)     Distinction Disregard (aka Clueless) This is when we pay no attention to what works or doesn’t work. Being these wacky creatures of habit, we continue doing things simply because we always did it that way.

So that’s my spin. What should we add?

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