A Key Point Most Sales Prospecting Tips Miss
Let’s face it. Prospecting is hard.
Most people have a “love – hate” relationship with the whole thing.
Regardless what you think about prospecting … you have to do it. If you don’t, you don’t have a business. And there is only so much of this that you can outsource or delegate.
As I was thinking about prospecting, I wondered, “How big is the prospecting industry?” So I went to the source – Google. It’s big… 40,300,000 results.
I drilled down. I searched for, “how to prospect for new clients and associates.” It produced 9,300,000 hits. Impressive.
I did another search for, “prospecting training.” That produced an impressive 10,500,000 hits. Wow.
How about gooks? I typed in, “how to prospect books.” Google could only find about 4,720,000 titles.
Finally I tried, “sales prospecting tips.” Only 578,000 blogs and articles.
This was just in English. I know this is not a problem for the English speaking business world.
It’s obvious that the “prospecting” problem is huge.
A quick scan of the first page of the “sales prospecting tips” list gave me some interesting feedback and insight into the scope of the problem. I learned …
- Prospecting is important
- Prospecting is hard
- Prospecting is easy
- Prospecting takes 2 steps, 5 steps, 10 steps, or maybe 25 steps
- You can learn to prospect in 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 book, 1 course, 1 program, 1 . . .
- There are a lot of people prospecting for people who want to get better at prospecting.
I found books, audio’s, video’s, seminars, work shops, webinars, teleconferences, web sites, social media pages, degree programs, certifications, credentials, talk shows, talk radio, traditional programs, non-traditional programs, gurus, coaches, mentors, consultants, big firms, little firms, in house training, out-sourced training, and the ever popular infomercial.
I have a question. With the millions of sales prospecting tips available, why is prospecting still so difficult? You would think someone would have the answer by now. And based solely on the search results, it looks like the problem has been solved. However, if you are in sales, you know it hasn’t.
Dale Carnegie was the granddaddy of the prospecting industry. His 1936 book, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold over 15 million copies world-wide. And it’s still going strong.
Based on his book sales alone, it appears that what he wrote then, still works today.
I believe most of the millions of sales prospecting tips available today are a variation of his advice – it’s all about relationships. And this is what most tips miss.
Here’s my theory about why relationships matter from my first book Money Makes Me Crazy! A Prescription for Money Sanity.
We have two brains – a feeling emotional brain and a thinking rational brain. Both are critical to our survival.
Our feeling brain is old, emotional, reactive, unconscious, and pretty much focused on “keep us alive and pass on the genes.”
On the other hand, our thinking brain is relatively young, rational, conscious, and lazy – deferring to the feeling brain whenever possible to save energy.
Traditional sales and prospecting training is very thinking brain focused – data based and data driven. I bet you were trained to prospect and sell with your thinking brain – find a need and pour on the facts . . . features, data, and more features, and more data.
This is a problem. Because when you talk to your prospect in this manner, you’re leading with your thinking brain.
Your prospect on the other hand, is listening with their feeling brain. And their primitive emotional, split second, unconscious feeling brain is screaming, “Salesperson! Danger, danger . . . run away, run away, run away . . .”
They’re probably too polite to say what they really feel. Or, even more likely, they don’t even know why they “feel so uncomfortable” with you… but they do.
You know you crushed your presentation – your feeling brain told you so. You hit every key point from your script. Your prospect took all your material. They even said they’d read it!
And your feeling brain is already spending the money you just made…
But it doesn’t always work out the way the book you just read on sales prospecting tips promised. Does it?
Money is always emotional. The feeling brain is in command. It could care less about your numbers and features. It is focused on trying to stay alive and pass on the genes.
Are your presentations directed to your prospect’s thinking brain or their feeling brain? You need to know.
I have co-authored a new book on spending behavior with FUBU co-founder J. Alexander Martin. It will be released on July 4, 2017.