Thomas Edison famously said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” If you want to be a genius at prospecting, the inventor’s insight explains how to do it. The key to successful sales prospecting is preparation: The more thoroughly you vet your suspects, the richer your ultimate prospecting list will be — making you more efficient with your most valuable asset, time. Instead of wasting it chasing suspects with little or no chance of generating revenue, you’ll be spending almost all of your time cultivating solid sales opportunities.
The infographic below, the Sales Prospecting Checklist, is an extremely handy tool for qualifying prospects, and also preparing yourself physically and mentally to dive in and make contact. The checklist tasks are broken down into six categories:
- Define the target: Without a picture of your ideal prospect, you can’t really tell when you’ve found a match. Obvious as this sounds, salespeople sometimes miss key elements of that picture, such as trajectory — that is, whether the business is trending up or down.
- Create the list: Now that you know what you’re looking for, where do you find them? If you’ve been relying on three or four sources of names, you could be missing very rich sources of contacts that match your target.
- Schedule the work: Contacting suspect after suspect is a grind, but if you’re smart about how you weave that work into your day, you’ll be far more productive — not just in prospecting, but in every other aspect of your job.
- Research: This is real “perspiration” work of adding the key contact information to your prospect list (correctly spelled names, email addresses, etc.). Compiling this data in advance keeps you from having to pause and hunt for data while you’re immersed in the actual work of prospecting.
- Plan the attack: Here is the science behind the art of prospecting, where you spell out your introduction, think through all the possible objections and your response, and otherwise put yourself in a position where you can succeed no matter what course the conversation takes.
- Get excited: Having a positive, winning attitude is that one percent that Mr. Edison talked about — and while it may be only a small piece of the prospecting puzzle, you’ll get nowhere without it. The infographic offers several tips for putting yourself in the right frame of mind to prospect like a champ.
Review the checklist now:
Checklist created by: Sales University Group