Prospecting and lead generation are the lifeblood of sales. You need a consistent flow of fresh prospects at all times to be successful. So you need qualified ideal prospects in your pipeline at all times. Prospecting requires human-to-human interaction, which often requires picking up the phone. Many salespeople see prospecting as a necessary evil and face heavy reluctance to the task at hand. Connie Kadansky strives to change salespeople’s mindsets and help them overcome sales call reluctance to find success.
Connie Kadansky is the President of Exceptional Sales Performance, an international sales coaching practice. She is a recognized expert in identifying and eliminating sales call reluctance, the emotional hesitation to prospect and self-promote. In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Connie shares her expertise on prospecting and lead generation. Don’t miss it!
Connie starts by identifying what her ideal prospect looks like and writes down and highlights where she’s willing to deviate. She determines who isn’t an ideal prospect and holds that clearly in her mind. Then she decides how to initiate contact. Connie believes in picking up the phone to introduce yourself. After that, you can follow up with email and LinkedIn. Throughout the process, you need to focus on the value you can create for your prospect. 70% of a sale is engagement and discovering the need of the buyer. In Connie’s world, the human is doing the work of prospecting.
Connie emphasizes that a salesperson needs to know their value with every fiber of their body. You must believe that your product or service is an essential piece of the puzzle for your prospect. She also notes that you have to change your mindset and begin to see prospecting as an adventure. When you do that and pair it with curiosity, you can learn from every single outreach.
Connie knows that salespeople get hit with call reluctance. You need to realize that it isn’t prospecting that’s causing the anxiety—it’s how you’re thinking about it. Don’t call it a cold-call. If you’re prospecting people and organizations who need what you have, don’t get caught up in thinking it’s a cold call. You can “warm” it up rather quickly. Be authentic, have fun, and focus on creating value for them.
She recommends creating a list of who you’re going to prospect the night before. Why? So when you get into the office you are prepared and can get it done early. Make it a priority. Make sure you measure your results: What are you doing well? What do you need to do differently? Have those mechanisms in place so you can get momentum. The best salespeople get into a rhythm and the energy carries them forward.
Connie cannot emphasize enough: you must follow through immediately. Connie had someone email her last week with his name and phone number. She called within 14 minutes and he was delighted. He’s going to become a client. Don’t think it comes across as desperate. If a prospect is reaching out to you, it’s because they need something. Don’t miss out on that. You can get creative with your follow-through. If they don’t respond to a call or an email, leave them a message on LinkedIn.
You must also always keep your word. Connie keeps something on her desk that says “promises.” So when she’s on a call with a prospect and promises to send them a link, she makes a note, and then sends it. If you don't write it down, it will fall off your radar. Keep listening to hear what her other tips and tricks are.
Connie works with salespeople to overcome sales call reluctance. Financial advisors must be continuously meeting with new prospects to be successful. So she made a list of 12 financial advisor coaches or thought leaders who work with advisors. She picked up the phone and called 11 and said: “We work in the same industry. We’re not competitors. I have an idea, please give me a call back at your earlier convenience.”
Three called her back because they were curious about her message. Two of them thought her idea was brilliant. One even said that working with her would help their clients be even more successful in his program, which is what he wanted more than anything. So she’s doing business with him—all because of overcoming sales reluctance and picking up the phone
She learned that you won't get them all—you don’t want them all. You only want the people that are in alignment with what you’re doing. You want the timing to be right. Be creative, let the phone be your ATM. Leave a message that gives them some information. The people that are ready will return the call.
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