Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Creating a World Class Prospect List - Final Thoughts

To build the perfect prospect list, be clear about your goal. Some prospects are good fits, but they’re happy with their current solution and unlikely to change vendors in the near future. Other prospects are unhappy. They wish someone like you would call them today so they could fix their problems. Unfortunately for all sales professionals, dissatisfied prospects are the minority, not the majority, of the people we call. Therefore, if you want immediate sales you need to make more dials to find Mr. or Ms. Unhappy Buyer.

Opportunities are infinite, but time is a finite commodity. The sad truth we all need to recognize is that it often takes just as long to sell a mediocre prospect as it does to sell a good prospect. Once the account is sold, mediocre prospect become mediocre customers with low payoffs.
If the account doesn't buy much, but are quick and easy to sell and service, go ahead and grab the low hanging fruit. When an account doesn't buy much and is difficult to sell, find a better opportunity.
Here's another point to consider. Sometimes a prospect appears to be a perfect fit, but an obstacle the size of Mount Everest stands between you and success such as:
·         Long-term contracts
·         Buyers who dislike you or your company
·         Buyers who purchase from family members or close friends
·         Buyers who are intensely loyal to current vendors
·         Decision -makers who refuse to speak to you under any condition, and there is no way to get above them or around them.
Smart salespeople acknowledge obstacles. They're realistic about their ability to overcome them and don't waste time fighting battles they can't win. Instead, they find another account with a situation where triumph is a genuine possibility.
Smart salespeople also know everyone loses business, often for reasons outside our control. Replacing lost business takes time. To sleep at night, keep the funnel full. The starting point for a full funnel is a solid list of prospects built to reflect both quality and quantity.
Is your prospect list a good one? If not, today is a good day to start fixing the problem.

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