Closing is fun. Making a great sales presentation is fun. Depositing the commission check is really fun. Prospecting is less fun. So few of us do enough prospecting. Even worse, most of us do not have effective, efficient methods for managing our prospecting efforts, so too much of our prospecting time is wasted.
See what you can do to seize more prospecting opportunities with this 30-step Personal Prospecting Checklist.
I suggest you copy and paste the checklist into a word-processing file and then fill in your answers and planned actions for each step.
When you reach the end of your sales year, your total sales numbers will reflect how well you filled your pipeline all year, giving you the maximum number of opportunities to close.
To determine whether you’re doing all you can to keep your pipeline bursting with active prospects, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a prospecting system to ensure you always have adequate sales activity?
- Have you ever been or are you now in a sales slump? What was or is the cause?
- What are your primary and secondary prospecting methods?
- Do you generally ask each client or customer for referrals? If no, why not?
- Do you get testimonial letters from each of your customers? If no, why not?
- Is prospecting your strongest or weakest sales skill? If it is the weakest, why?
- Do you understand the relationship between effective prospecting and the other elements of the sales process?
- Do you tend to try to turn poor prospects into customers with your product or service features, presentation, or closing devices?
- Do you get adequate prospect information before you begin to actively sell?
- Do you know what makes a good prospect?
- Do you have a presentation opening that gets more information, or do you tend to begin selling right out of the gate?
- Is it hard for you to ask difficult or sensitive questions? If yes, why?
- Have you developed and memorized all of the critical questions you need to ask your prospects? If no, why not?
- Do you tend to ask more closed- or open-ended questions while qualifying your prospect?
- Do you talk too much during the sales process?
- Do you interrupt your prospects while they answer your questions?
- Do you actively listen between the lines of what your prospect says?
- Do you see the sales call as a process or an event?
- Do you tend to jump right into a feature-based sales presentation even though you lack adequate information about your prospect?
- Is your prospecting philosophy defined as “If they will see me, I will see them,” or “They earn the right to see me”? Or is it somewhere in between?
- Do you find that you give a lot of sales presentations to poor prospects? Why?
- Do you tend to lose control of the sales process before, during, or after the sales call?
- Do you anticipate and prepare for prospect resistance, questions, and attempts to control the process?
- Do you tend to let prospects control the flow of your presentation by answering their early questions?
- Do you tend to call only on prospects you are the most comfortable with?
- Do you believe that building rapport is about the amount of time with a prospect or about the trust, confidence, and/or respect they have in you?
- Do you know the difference between prospecting and selling?
- Do you tend to prospect when you should be selling and sell when you should be prospecting?
- Do you have a lot of prospects thinking about doing business with you as you read this question?
- How can questions:
- Save you time?
- Make you look smart?
- Help you establish rapport?
- Get control of the sales process?