Preventing Prospecting Shutdown

One of the most difficult challenges of generating new leads is the initial approach. Who should I contact? What should I say? How do I not sound like a traditional salesman? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you become more effective in contacting and gaining prospective clients.

Prospecting Shutdown
Who Should I Contact?

It is important to segment your customers based on their needs and behaviors.  Think about the problems or challenges that your product or services fixes.  What kind of companies typically suffer with those kinds of problems?  Can you group these types of companies together by industry or by geographic area?  Once you identify who you are targeting than you need to develop a list of prospects to start connecting with.  You can go online and use any one of the search engines to search for lists of these kinds of companies.  Try and compile a list of 100 prospecting companies to work on over the course of the next 3-6 months.

When To Prospect

First, when to prospect? Most sales people are busy racing from one thing to the next.  If they are not careful they allow prospecting activities to get pushed aside.  Soon they noticed their sales revenue fluctuating up and down more than they would like it to.  The only way to keep sales revenue steadily increasing is to be consistent in your prospecting efforts.  It is important to make your efforts to gain prospective contacts a regular part of your work schedule.  Set aside a specific time daily or weekly to contact prospective clients.  Make the calling schedule a priority!

What Should I Say?

The second question, what should I say, is very important.  It is important to remember that people love to buy things.  They just hate being sold or taken advantage of.  When people buy they always buy emotionally.  Meaning buying is an emotional thing, not an intellectual thing.  People will always justify and defend their buying decision intellectually however.  For sales people, their “pitch” should always be focused on the emotionally charged issues surrounding the purchase.  These typically are the problems, challenges and issues the product or service solves.  They could also be the benefit, pleasure, and enjoyment a prospects wants to get from the purchase.  These are the emotional issues that should be focused on by the sales person.

How Not to Sound Like a Salesman?

Sales people can avoid this problem by using a pattern interrupt. This is simply something that interrupts the person’s normal day to day thought pattern. Try introducing yourself by only saying your name and asking if they remember you, or if you caught them at a bad time. This is a good way to get people thinking, and often they will give you permission to talk to them. The pattern interrupt method helps open people up to what you have to say. These first few exchanges must be brief and break the potential client’ normal pattern of thinking.

The second part of not sounding like a salesman is to give a simple statement about who you are. Don’t give a long summery about your company and everything you can do for them. Be brief and transition immediately to the “take-away”.  The take away are statements that:

  • Let people know you don’t work with everyone; you work best with people that fit within certain parameters.
  • Focus on solutions to problems such as companies who are working to improve efficiency, time management, and other practices that help improve the quality of a business.

After giving your parameters state you work with people or companies who are “Worried, Anxious, Frustrated, Angry, Disappointed Upset, or Concerned (WAFA DUC) with particular business issues that you address.  Choose specific examples such as businesses who are frustrated with old equipment that is slowing down production. Ask them if they are dealing with any of these issues or not.  If so, which one? This will help you determine what their needs are and if they are good candidates to talk more with. If they start talking about their problems they are likely interested. Talk to them about these concerns and find out how you can help them.

Finally ask if it would make sense for them to visit with you more. If they say yes, set up a time to visit with them. Don’t try to sell them on the first call.  Simply set up the appointment and talk with them more in the second meeting. If they are not interested move on, don’t waste time convincing people who are not interested.

This process will help you not to sound like a salesman and connect with clients who may otherwise view you as just another salesman.

To learn more about improving your selling and promotional skills, call Hansen Group Company at 208-346-1005 or email us at