I am in sales ergo I prospect

Cold calling, gold calling, prospecting, prospection,
Go on, pick it up, it doesn’t bite!

Photo credit: Macinate

Prospecting. An activity which more often than not isn’t really appreciated, both by sales people and those at the other end (maybe because they have some pre-conceived idea?). Concentrating on the negative feeling sales people have, it could be because it comes along with the fear of “rejection”. Add to this the growing belief that to prospect, i.e. to contact people from cold is “dead” as content marketing and social are the ways for organisations to generate inbound leads. I keep reading “outbound is dead”. I personally believe there is a lot of value to have both inbound marketing and outbound sales effort combined together. For my sins, I do quite enjoy prospecting. Remember, it all start with a conversation so we need to set-up this conversation and prospecting is the mean to this end. We know the good old latin locution “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think therefore I am”. I think something similar can be said for sales:  “Sello ergo prospectum” (did they prospect back then? And what’s the latin for “sell”?) or in proper English “I am in sales therefore I prospect”.  So, here are five reasons why I prospecting is great and actually not that hard:

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Are sales people all liars? Or how to address prospects’ belief system

Sales, process, selling, prospects, prospecting
Did he end-up being in sales?

Here is a test for you. Take 10 people randomly in the street and ask them what are the concepts that spring to mind when you mentioned the words “sales” or “sales person”. I recently did a workshop with companies part of an incubator called 50th generation and asked them this question. The nice words that came up where “manipulative”, “pushy”, “untrustworthy”, “talkative” “second hand car”, “liar” and other niceties. Not very sexy, is it. And that was from people actually selling.

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It all starts with a conversation

Conversation. Sales. Process. Cold-calling
It all starts with a conversation

Photo credit: Daniel Coy

Imagine. You are creating your B2B start-ups. You had that marvellous, light bulb moment. You did some research, interviewed people. And after much fear, you decided to go for it. Congratulations! You’ve done the first step on an exciting journey. And now, whether your start-up is about a product or a service, you need to sell. Yes, sell. Whilst you rightfully feel that your idea or your product is really unique and possibly world changing, you need to convey this to someone who then will take a big punt on you and give you some of hard earned cash (or cash from a budget they manage) and give it to you. So you need to convince. You need to put them in a motion that will take them to you buying. But even before this, you need to approach prospects who could, heaven forbid, be complete strangers. And you dread this. You dread this probably because in the back of your mind, you associate sales to a range of concept which you don’t associate as sexy. Yes, concepts like cold calling, cold emailing, convincing, asking people for money and so on…

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