May 28, 2015

So Prospecting Ain’t Dead Yet and This Old Phone Still Works

I’m not gloating, but it is certainly a relief to see the social selling charlatans backpedaling a bit as their magic potion isn’t the be-all and end-all they promised. Amazing isn’t it? Everything has not changed. The sun still rises in the east, the Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central, and top-producers in sales are still great at all the things that used to matter (strategically targeting and pursuing ideal profile prospects, uncovering opportunities early, positioning themselves as consultants, advisors and value-creators, building relationships and consensus, identifying and removing obstacles, quarterbacking a deal to completion, etc.).

And wouldn’t you know it, now we even have a study from SiriusDecisions that debunks today’s nouveau “experts” favorite bogus straw man statistic that buyers are 67% through their buying process before engaging with salespeople. Hallelujah for some balance in the research on that topic! I wrote an article celebrating the results of that study for the great folks at OpenView Labs. Thousands have read it and I’d encourage you to click here to read it, too.

So maybe just maybe prospecting ain’t dead yet. It’s sure working for my clients who aren’t waiting for an inbound lead or living as prisoners of hope – hoping that a LinkedIn connection or twitter relationship morphs into a legitimate sales opportunity!

I am sensing a new hunger for a back-to-basics approach to selling. Executives are fed up with reactive sales teams waiting for leads and whining about marketing support. Salespeople who went all-in believing the nonsense that proactively pursuing prospects who haven’t yet raised their hand is a waste of time are finally open to the idea of self-generating their own leads. Maybe it’s just me because I keep hearing from people who have read my book and are having success, but I honestly feel like the tide is turning. Enough people have tried to replace traditional prospecting and new business development sales efforts and failed. Instead of seeing these new social and inbound tools as supplements to the old way, they took the fantasy route (lazy way) in hopes that they would get by never having to prospect again. They’re beginning to wake up and smell the coffee. An empty sales pipeline and missing your sales goal will do that to you 🙂

Are you ready to get serious about developing new business and up your prospecting game? Then join five of my favorite sales gurus and me on Tuesday, June 9th for a free one-hour, live video session dedicated to powering up your prospecting. 

No slides. No BS. No pitching you anything. Straight talk from some of the very best guys in the sales improvement business who produce real results for real clients. Click here for info and to register.  Join Anthony Iannarino, Miles Austin, Jeb Blount, John Spence, Mark Hunter and me at 11:00 Eastern, 10:00 Central on June 9th.

I’m going to spend my part of the hour on the best social selling tool of all – the telephone. Yes, that old, dusty phone on your desk is still an incredibly effective weapon for starting a relationship, securing a discovery conversation, and moving an opportunity forward. Specifically, I’ll address how to make the phone your friend, win with voicemail, and how to build a relationship with someone who hasn’t yet called you back. Intrigued? See you on June 9th. Until then, great selling.