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Updated 30 Sep 2020

Get your prospecting back on track

Don’t let fear or complacency get in the way of prospecting for new customers.

Barry Farber, Entrepreneur, 05 June 2012  Share  0 comments  Print

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Complacency, lack of qualified prospects and fear of rejection are just a few of the reasons sales people are reluctant to make new sales calls.

One of the main reasons call reluctance sets in is because we might have experienced months, or even years, of success without making new calls — and now our prospecting skills have diminished.

I see this all the time. Maybe your industry has gone through tough times or more aggressive competitors started taking away your account base. Whatever the reason, a dry pipeline sounds a clear wake-up call – it’s time to prospect for new business.

Here are five ways to overcome call reluctance and make sure it doesn’t sneak up on you again.

1. Go visit a satisfied account
Your passion and positive attitude about your profession are critical when making new sales calls. When you listen to how your customers benefit from your products and services, it puts you in a positive frame of mind and allows you to collect ammunition to use against objections.

So when that new prospect says, “It’s not in our budget,” you can respond: “I can appreciate that. I was with one of my customers today who said the same thing at first, and when they found out how much money we saved them in productivity, it made up for the initial investment. I’d like to see if we could do the same for you.”

2. Prepare your pitch and benefits statement
I’ve always said that if someone asks you, “Can you give me three good reasons why I should do business with you?” those answers should be right on the tip of your tongue.

So what are the three biggest reasons someone should do business with you? What’s in it for them and what added value can you bring to the table that the competition can’t? This exercise will help you create an elevator pitch that you can use when someone wants to know what you do.

3. Always ask for referrals
Sure, there are good times to ask for referrals, like when a customer tells you how much she loves your product. But we should always be asking for referrals, even if the person we’re talking to doesn’t need our services.

Why? Because you never know who they know. If you’ve built any type of rapport, the customer usually volunteers that information. If not, ask: “If you were in my shoes, what three people would you call on who could benefit from our products and services?” Nothing warms a cold call faster than being recommended by a person the prospect knows and respects.

4. Feed your brain
You bring about what you think about. Whether it’s from reading or the people and environment around you, there is nothing more powerful than learning when it comes to motivating your spirit and maintaining enthusiasm for life. 

Some people think they know it all and don’t need to learn anything new, and that’s when they get into trouble. It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts in life. New knowledge keeps you fresh and focused and can provide new tools and new ideas to sell and live better.

5. Manage your fear
Fear is what drives people. Make fear your ally. Allow it to motivate, challenge and push you – don’t let it stop you dead in your tracks. Remember that when it comes to prospecting, it is in doing what we fear most that we grow.

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About the author

Barry Farber, Entrepreneur

Barry Farber is a top speaker and bestselling author of 11 books on sales, management and personal achievement.

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