How To Stop Chasing Prospects

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How To Stop Chasing Prospects

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Salespeople work hard to identify prospects and drive conversations. But that’s not where they spend most of their time.

By far, salespeople spend their time pursuing prospects.

To prevent prospects from avoiding us, we must build a system that ensures we minimize the potential for endless outreach, rescheduled meetings and no-shows at appointments.

To learn how to stop chasing our prospects, we sat down with Dailey Tipton, Senior Vice President of Revenue at Ndustrial and former Navy flight officer. Tipton leveraged his experience as a veteran to show us how to ensure we avoid the chase and shorten our sales cycle.

Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: Dailey suggests triggering this system before any activity that could generate a conversation. That means taking the time, however brief, to map out a plan.

R – Repeatable: To make this system repeatable across any activity that could generate a conversation, Dailey said to build a simple plan to follow in the event a conversation occurs.

First, define what objectives your prospect likely has. If they don’t even know they’re suffering from a problem you can solve, their objectives might be to determine if you’re competent and qualified to educate them. If they know they have a problem but don’t know you or your brand, their objectives might include determining your credibility. If they know they have a problem and are familiar with what you’re selling, then their objectives may include determining if you’re the right solution provider for them.

Your prospect’s objectives take precedence over yours, but from them, you can determine what your objectives should be in the conversation.

Next, have an agenda that you can share with your prospects. This may repeat across prospects, but you’ll want to be able to explain it to your prospects in your conversations. An agenda is a critical element in a sales conversation because it gives both of you an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

After an agenda, Dailey advises agreeing on an up-front contract. This is a verbal agreement that if you achieve your objectives, the prospect will be ready to take the next step in your sales process whether that’s another meeting with additional stakeholders or sending a quote or proposal. Dailey recommends phrasing your up-front contract to ensure a binary response, such as, “If we can show how this will create a 3x reduction in cost for you and can come in at or under your budget, will we be able to move forward with the order?”

Next, Dailey says to focus on your value proposition to that prospect. Why do they care about what you sell? How will it benefit or impact their life and business? Once you’ve agreed that what you sell will indeed serve the prospect and help them achieve their goals, you’re ready to set the next step with the prospect in your sales process.

The final step in this repeatable process is to never leave without setting a next step you’re both accountable for. That will include a timeline or a specific calendar appointment to ensure you have a firm circle-back date.

I – Improvable: To improve this system, Dailey recommends tracking the trigger words that get your prospects’ attention in the sales meeting. Those are the words you’ll want to work more into future conversations. You can track those words on a notepad during your conversation when you notice a prospect ‘lean in’ or say, ‘tell me more about that’. Ideally, your conversation is an end-to-end string of topics your prospects care about investigating.

M – Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of this system, Dailey says to focus on quality, not quantity. You will be spending more time with prospects as you move through each step of the system, which will mean fewer calls. However, it will shorten sales cycles and allow you to sell more expensive items because you’ll be seen as a partner with your prospect and not just a vendor.

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