Every year I see many sales reps get all fired up to start prospecting and fill up their pipelines.

Prospecting is a very important part of a salesman’s job.

So is selling.

In the big picture, there are two ways to increase the amount of sales you close for the year.

  1. Find a more prospects to put into your pipeline.
  2. Close a higher percentage of the deals that you put into your pipeline.

Prospecting is typically the more difficult activity of the two to make a big change on in a short period of time.

Anyone who has ever cold called knows that with about 1 in 30+ people ever answering their phones live, it takes a lot of effort just to get one appointment.

Other methods of prospecting such as building referral networks, newsletters, etc. often give great results, but only over an extended period of time. In the short term you can’t fill your pipeline off of such indirect methods.

So if you want to make a big impact on your sales results in the next two weeks, two months or two quarters, then you gotta get better at qualifying and closing deals this year.

Selling is pointless, if your qualifying criteria is that your prospect can fog a mirror.

Prospect hard and qualify hard, and your selling will be much easier.

What I mean is this: you gotta qualify your deals so that you are only selling to prospects that are going to purchase, and that are highly likely to purchase from you.

What point is there to working a deal for a few weeks or a few months, putting together multiple quotes, presentations, and meetings, if you don’t have at least  50% chance or better of closing?

Personally I won’t work a deal unless I can get my odds up to 70% chance or better.
Right now someone is reading this thinking that I am out of my mind. Well if you are thinking that, then you are probably working much harder than you should be for your sales.

I’d rather scratch around for more deals, than expend a bunch of sales time and energy on someone who I can’t say is likely to do business with me.

There is a skill set for qualifying your deals such that 70% or more are likely to close. What you do is you find out WHAT is driving the deal, and WHO is driving it.

You need to know what issues and personality traits cause people to purchase from you and what issues and personality traits cause people to purchase from your competitors.

When you know this with specificity, then you can make a confident decision as to whether you should pursue it any further. You can literally predict with high confidence who they will do business with.

Chasing more prospects with a 30% close rate is not the answer.

Getting your closing rate up above 50% to start, and then on into the 70-90% range is the answer.

Go here for more on how to qualify harder and close more this year.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown