Right as I was moving to St. Louis to start my first sales role, my big-time New York City sales executive dad sat me down and shared these words to ensure my mindset was right:
“Your number one goal in sales is to make your customer as successful as possible. As long as your motivation is to help the customer win, you will always win in sales.”
Truer or wiser words have never been spoken. When you have your potential or existing customer’s best interests at heart, your motivation to sell is pure. Sure, you want the sale and you will benefit from making the sale. But as my dad so eloquently stated, when you are truly motivated to help your customer win, everything changes for you—particularly when it comes to the hardest part of selling, prospecting to begin the process of creating new opportunities.
Motivation for prospecting is all about perspective and how you see yourself, your solution, and your prospective customer. When you get your head and your heart right about why you should be working hard to create opportunities, prospecting becomes easier. Instead of dreading the fact that you are pursuing conversations with people who might avoid or resist you, you actually look forward to it, because deep inside, you know they need you and that you can help them.
What is your motivation to prospect for new business?
Please don’t blow off this question. I’m serious, and I’m asking for a reason. There are way too many salespeople charged with bringing in new business that can’t seem to bring themselves to proactively pursue target prospects. They know they need to initiate contact with potential buyers and they agree that sitting on their butts waiting for a lead (or commenting in LinkedIn groups) is not going to create sufficient opportunities to fill their pipeline. Yet, they just can’t get over the hump, and many remain stuck in reactive/passive mode – hoping beyond hope that the Opportunity Fairy will put a lead under their pillow or in their inbox!
Salespeople, please hear me on this: If your job is to improve the prospect/client’s situation and you sell a solution that benefits them and will produce a positive outcome, then it is irresponsible not to make every effort to earn a conversation with potential buyers!
If you truly believe that you can improve your prospect or client’s condition, then not only is your motivation to sell pure and honorable, but you are doing the customer, your own company, and yourself a disservice if you don’t pursue them with all you’ve got.
So…if your heart isn’t in it, or you’ve been procrastinating, making excuses, or actively finding reasons not to prospect for new business, maybe it’s time for a heart and attitude check. Maybe you’ve been viewing yourself and your job wrong. Instead of seeing yourself as a pest, product-pusher, or pitchman, what if you viewed yourself correctly — as a true professional problem-solver, value-creator, advisor, expert, consultant, etc.?
When that’s your attitude, everything changes! When you know the prospect is in danger (like a little kid about to run into the street), or is suffering with a suboptimal solution, or is stuck, confused or unknowingly lost, it actually compels you to initiate contact—for the prospect’s own good. You are not calling to bother; you are calling because you believe you very likely have the solution that will produce a better outcome. What could be a better and more pure motivation for wanting to meet with a prospective client?
Stop putting off prospecting. There are potential customers out there who need you and your help!
If you’d like help with not just your attitude about prospecting and developing new business, but are also looking for powerful, practical tools and techniques to achieve breakthrough results, join us at the OutBound Sales Conference in Atlanta. OutBound is brought you to by Outreach. Use the code “mike100” to save $100 off the Main Event or Elite Package ticket! Get more info and check out the incredible speaker lineup HERE.