In sales, one universal truth stands firm: every salesperson has the same 24 hours in a day, no more, no less. The distinguishing factor among successful salespeople often lies in how they choose to allocate their time and who they target in their prospecting efforts – we see this often during sales coaching. The art of prospecting isn’t just about casting a wide net; it’s about hitting the bullseye with laser-focused precision. To achieve this, sales professionals must create and maintain a highly concentrated, finite prospecting list, one that doesn’t resemble an overwhelming spreadsheet of thousands of potential leads but, rather, a carefully curated list for the next 30 days.
Imagine a scenario where you possess the most sophisticated fishing net, one engineered for unparalleled efficiency. However, if you cast this net into a sea with no fish or fish of the wrong size, your chances of success diminish significantly. The same principle applies to prospecting – it’s not just about the tools at your disposal, but about who you choose to target.
To hit the bullseye in prospecting, here are seven crucial questions to consider:
1. What problems do your offerings solve?
Start by understanding the core issues or challenges that your products or services address. This forms the foundation of your prospecting strategy, as you’ll be seeking out those who face these problems.
2. Who has these problems?
Identify your target audience – those individuals or businesses most likely to experience the problems you can solve. This could be defined by specific industries, situations, or demographics.
3. Who are your biggest and best existing customers?
Your current customers hold valuable insights. Analyse commonalities among your most satisfied clients, such as the industries they belong to, the sectors they operate in, their geographic locations, job titles and the sizes of their organisations.
4. Who would not be an ideal customer and why not?
Recognise the types of customers or markets that may not be the best fit for your offerings. Understanding who isn’t your ideal customer helps you avoid wasting time and resources on unproductive leads. Sales is a value exchange so make sure your prospects can benefit from that.
5. Who would benefit most from immediate problem resolution?
Consider which potential customers would gain the most from solving their issues urgently. These prospects are more likely to respond positively to your pitch, recognising the immediate value in your solution.
6. Who can afford to pay for problem resolution?
Assess the financial capabilities of your target audience. Prioritise customers who not only need your solutions but can also afford them, ensuring a higher likelihood of successful transactions.
7. Who are your top 50 potential customers to engage with?
After addressing the above questions, curate a list of your top 50 prospects who align best with your offerings and your business objectives. These are the individuals or organisations you should prioritise in your prospecting efforts. Once you have processed this list, repeat the questioning process again to create a new list to ensure your prospects always align with your overall goals.
In conclusion, prospecting targeting is about quality over quantity. Success in sales isn’t just about reaching out to as many leads as possible; it’s about reaching out to the right leads. By diligently answering these questions and crafting a highly focused prospecting strategy, you can dramatically increase your chances of hitting the bullseye and achieving your sales goals. Remember, in the world of sales, precision and focus are your greatest allies.
“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – businessman John Russell