Selling is like riding a bike. If you stop pedaling you stop moving.
So, what does that really mean?
Well, it starts with creating a plan. Just like when riding a bike, you have to know where you are going. Take a moment and pick your prospecting targets.
- What do you want to achieve?
- How much revenue do you want to bring in?
- How many new clients do you want to gain?
- Do you want to grow the amount of business you are getting from your current clients?
Decide where you’re going & create a plan for getting there.
One of the mistakes sales people make is moving along without a clear plan. That’s why they stop and have to rev back up again and again. Don’t make that mistake!
Create a plan that makes sense for you.
For example, pick a target market and build a list of companies or people in that market. You may then decide to tap in to your networks to see if you can get an introduction. You may decide to cold call or send an introductory letter. You may decide to send a direct mail piece first.
Whatever it is, plan when you are going to do it. And decide what you will do after that. It’s the follow up steps that matter.
- How will you continue prospecting?
- How will you handle the sales call?
- How will you close the deal?
- What will you do after that to nurture the relationship?
Why all these questions??
If you don’t have a clear plan for each of these steps you’ll only get so far and then you’ll stop. You’ll implement the process until you get a handful of potential clients and have to create proposals.
The risk is that you’ll stop the process here to focus on those proposals. It is important to never stop prospecting! If you only focus on proposals and quotes new prospects will be added to the pipeline. The danger is that once you are done with the proposals you won’t have anything to do. Effectively your prospecting/sales plan has stopped. You stopped pedaling. Sound familiar?
Then you have to start all over again.
Imagine yourself on a bike at the bottom of a hill. You need to ride up that hill. It’s going to be pretty hard, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be easier to get up the hill if you were pedaling toward it instead of at a dead stop at the bottom of it?
When you have a clearly spelled out plan you can start the process, and then decide at which point you start again with the next target market. It should be somewhere along the process – not at the end.
In other words, when you get to the sales appointments you are ready to start the process again with the next target market. This creates a cycle – just like riding a bike. And like pedaling a bicycle, this process will keep you moving toward your goal.