During my training sessions I often ask delegates to close their eyes and think of the sound of an ice cream truck. I ask them why they think it plays this tune. The most common answer is that the truck is trying to attract the children. That’s not entirely wrong – but what the ice cream truck is actually doing by playing that tune is to be heard, to let people know they are there and that they have ice cream available. Why? The end result is to sell ice cream.
Would switching the song off be a good strategy? Of course not – then nobody would know there’s ice cream for sale. The tune is the ice cream truck’s “prospecting” tool. It does not matter how great the ice cream is if their target market doesn’t know they are there.
Like the ice cream guy, the reason your business exists is to get people to buy your products. You cannot help anyone to be better off through what you offer if they don’t buy what you have. But do they know you are there? Are you and your company the best kept secret in your industry? That is often defined by how loud and regular your prospecting is.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis is the quietest place in the world, with a background noise reading of –9.4 decibels. A close second is how quiet salespeople can be when they are prospecting…
The only reason a sales floor at the office or at home is quiet is because salespeople are not on the phone speaking to clients. (And yes, the phone is still your number one tool for sales communication). Salespeople are not getting enough face to face and virtual engagements with prospective new clients, because they’re not picking up the phone – which is where you make meetings happen.
I’ll ask again: are you and your company the best kept secret in your industry? If so, it’s time to get your prospecting tune heard.