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The Initial Goal of Prospecting

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''Prospecting'' is defined as any activity or conversation in which you engage in order to meet a prospect with the intention to inquire, assess, discover, and educate—any activity or conversation that determines whether or not there is a fit or relationship worth pursuing. One may present his or her product or service in order to earn a prospect's business.

Rather than focusing all of your energy on making the sale, first determine if there’s a good fit between you and your product or service and your prospect. Instead of feeling that the intention of prospecting is to earn a sale, provide a demonstration, submit a proposal, or schedule an appointment, realize that the initial intention of prospecting is to determine if there’s a fit worth pursuing.

While this may sound a bit strange, closing the sale and earning the business of a prospect is not your initial goal. Instead, your primary objective is to determine whether you and your prospect are a good fit.



Take a moment and think about how this change in your attitude and mindset will change your cold-calling approach and your experience. While your traditional approach may be to produce a measurable result, now your primary objective is to discover whether you and your prospect are a good match and if this relationship is worth moving into the next stage of the selling process.

If you feel that you constantly have to push the sales process forward, the prospect may not be ready or may not be a good fit for what you are selling. Pushing the sales process forward before a prospect is ready only creates pressure for both of you, fostering an unhealthy relationship from the start. Therefore, instead of asking yourself how you can sell a particular prospect, answer this question: “Do I even want this prospect as a customer?”

Notice that the second question shifts the balance of power back to you. Now, you’re the one with the choice. Notice how this shift in your mindset will also change your approach. Instead of reciting your pitch to convince or push the prospect into the sale, now you can learn and gather as much information as possible about this particular prospect.

How do you determine if there’s a fit worth pursuing? Typically, you will conduct an investigation where you ask critical questions. Instead of the prospect interviewing or qualifying you, you will “qualify” your prospect! The interview process goes both ways.

Let’s face it: the ultimate objective of your prospecting efforts is to sell more and boost your income. However, to achieve this goal, this cannot be the only end on which you focus your energy and thoughts.

Realize that when you cold call, one of your objectives is to open up your prospect’s thinking to the possibility of working with you in order to provide him or her with a better solution or to eliminate a recurring problem. As such, if you are looking to change the perceptions or mindsets of your prospects, you need to change yours first.

By identifying the common misconceptions about prospecting, you can develop a strong foundation for cold-calling success and respond to each prospect in a healthier, more productive, and more enjoyable way.

About the Author

Keith Rosen is an engaging speaker, master sales coach, and well-known author of many books and articles. For his work as a pioneer and leader in the coaching profession, Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the country.

AllBusiness.com provides resources to help small and growing businesses start, manage, finance, and expand their business. The site contains forms and agreements, business guides, business directories, thousands of articles, expert advice, and business blogs.

Material copyrighted by AllBusiness.com.
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Popular tags:

 beliefs  discover  mindsets  sales process  sale  prospects  customers


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