Prospecting Mistakes: A Practical Approach to the 5 Worst MistakesOn December 1, 2021 by blog-admin
If the title of the text proposes a practical approach, I would like to talk initially about the first belief regarding acquiring new skills during any training. It will be useful to avoid mistakes in prospecting for customers. In this case, the famous popular saying:
Practice leads to perfection!
You must have known this term for a long time and even repeated it several times during your life. But guess what: This saying couldn’t be more wrong! Believing that practice alone makes perfect is a big mistake.
And not to leave it open, when I say perfection I mean having an excellent performance in whatever you’re going to practice.
But what can we do to make this saying a little more assertive? Let’s go then:
Practice with feedback makes perfect!
It’s the feedback that makes all the difference in what you’re doing. It’s very simple, answer the following question: If you had to build a football team now, which of the people below would you choose:
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Robinho from Atlético Mineiro
If you answered Robinho to be part of his team, I’m sure you’re Athletic, aren’t you? But joking aside, my choice would be Guardiola. He is a coach and, precisely because of that, he has the ability to give feedback, recognize gaps and guide other players towards an even better performance.
Besides, of course, understanding tactics and other factors, such as dealing with pressure.
This is even more valid for our scenario, given that one of the mistakes in prospecting is exactly knowing how to deal with the discomfort we have in our stomachs when performing a cold call.
Far beyond popular sayings, author Doug Lemov has written a book exactly about the importance of practice. As an educator and director of Uncommom Schools, he shows us in his work how to become a teacher and teach like a champion.
The book’s approach, despite its focus on teaching teachers to be top performers, ends up going far beyond that. It can be used within the professional environment to make your employees perform better in their activities.
It was the first time I saw in the book that the popular saying at the beginning of the text was wrong. After all, if practice led to perfection, every peladeiro (that person who plays football on the weekend) would be a football player, right?
It’s not what we see out there:
On this premise also that being good is just a matter of practice, we wouldn’t fall for one of Aaron ‘Air’ Ross’ justifications about salespeople:
Sellers are not good at prospecting.
In fact, due to the fact that they make many mistakes in prospecting, they end up having to exercise this activity.
One last point regarding the Aula Grade 10 book is the teaching format used by the author, known as the Chatter method, which can be one of the solutions for teaching in our country.
Returning to the subject of the text, which is errors in prospecting, on the website of kingdom valley islamabad, we had a text earlier here on the blog, written by senior, hoping that you don’t make common mistakes in prospecting.
I confess that some of the mistakes, although crucial for the business, are not easy to correct. For example, the number 1 mistake mentioned in the previous text, segmenting the sales process, is not a simple thing to do.
It is a decision that requires the endorsement of an experienced C-Level to the point of not spending a lot of time, mainly, in trial and error to get this segmentation right. But as I said, it is something extremely important and it requires expertise to get faster in a process of results.
Now let’s get to the practical part?
The 5 errors in prospecting
Mistake 01: Speaking or writing wrong during prospecting
Yeah I know, it’s kind of obvious! A professional who uses a lot of speech as communication has to speak correctly. But in addition, as the prospector uses the email, it is also necessary that this professional writes correctly since the response to the email will depend on good writing.
Got a little confused?! So to put it better, the response rate is based on several factors but one of them is writing errors. After all, why would you trust the professional side of someone who wants to sell you something but writes “pobrema”, “solution” among others.
I know that these examples as errors in prospecting may not be your scenario but in this regard I can also mention the excess of cultured norm, which for me is like going to a club on Saturday wearing a tuxedo.
As said to your landladies on January 1st, you will wait for him […]
And it’s no use saying that the solution is sold to directors of large companies and that’s why this type of language is necessary. Unless you are in England in the 17th century, speak like a normal human being.
Practical tip 01
If you know this is a problem for you, look for a corporate writing course. Writing and speaking like the team of Blue World City is essential for every professional. Reading more is one of the best ways to increase your grammatical knowledge and make fewer mistakes.
If you are sending email through any intermediary platform other than the email platform itself, it is good to check if the lead is receiving without any problem, especially commas out of position and etc…
During your email writing that cannot be customized do always a thorough exposition of what you want to say, the text is also a great persuasion tool so be logical in your argument.
Error 02: Weak Argumentation During Prospecting
The prospector, when performing his task, will listen a lot to these two responses from his lead:
- I have no time!
- I’m not interested!
If you do prospecting, you know that this is extremely common. And actually, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the solution you sell or the fact that your lead is busy with other tasks.
After all, if Jack Bauer in 24 hours can save the US, you can conclude that it’s simply a matter of the lead prioritizing you or not! This is so universal that Steli Efti made a video exactly on the topic, called Cold Calling: How to respond to me dont have time.
Although the title is about how to answer this question of your lead’s lack of time, the question is also valid because the lead claims to have no interest.
And how do you get over it?
Strong argumentation! What I mean by that is knowing how to talk as an equal with your lead, also known as a horizontal relationship, in terms that go beyond knowledge of your product or solution.
It is an understanding and in-depth discussion with the lead towards market and opportunity as a general form of your solution. I can tell you that I’ve heard prospecting calls where almost nothing was mentioned about being a consultancy and marketing and sales and yet it was a call that evolved the lead within the process.
Strong arguing is “catching” the customer’s attention and you can’t achieve that simply by talking about your solution. You have to turn your speech into an opportunity.
It is with this type of argument that you position in your lead’s head that the other has a person who is worth listening to, since he understands what he is talking about and is really an expert.
In a segmented process, the prospecting phase can be something more emotional in the sense of raising the customer’s interest and only in a later phase of the process will the scenario of the lead and education about the solution be raised.
practical tip 02
How to have a strong argument? Start now to understand about the market and the value proposition of your solution. For example, is it possible to use crisis in your sales pitch? Strong argumentation must also be clear and objective.
To assess if you are not clear and objective, just answer the following question: Apart from the two previous objections, does my lead raise many other objections when I try to prospect him?
Error 03: Nervousness in cold calling
Earlier we discussed whether cold calling is dead or not and we know the answer: The call is the surest way to get your lead yes or no.
While practice alone doesn’t make perfect, it at least familiarizes you with that activity to the point where you no longer feel anxiety. Cold calling nervousness is one of the common reasons for those just starting out.
No wonder we made a basic guide on cold calling at the very beginning of the blog. Nervousness is basically your mind’s defense mechanism about an activity you have no control over. It’s one of the mistakes in prospecting because if you don’t solve it and, believe me, you’ll burn a lot the leads generated by your team.
Practical tip 03
There is a practical way to reduce this nervousness in your calls, this is adaptable to any activity that you have butterflies in your stomach when performing it. It’s called progressive desensitization, what you basically do is expose yourself day after day to a small dose of this activity.
In other words, instead of making 20 cold calls on your first day, start with only 5 and then increase that amount. This way, your body becomes familiar and has time to absorb this new behavior.
Error 04: Role playing, role playing, role playing…
For those of you who don’t know what roleplaying is in sales, I’ll explain. It’s basically a simulation where one person takes the role of a salesperson and the other takes the role of a lead.
While on the one hand, the first one has the objective of selling or persuading to get a meeting, the second one needs to raise objections in order to make the work difficult. The importance of role playing is to prepare the prospector and give feedback (remember we talked about that in the approach?) about his approach.
It is still possible to make this sales simulation even more real, to do it standing up, precisely because it is an uncomfortable moment.
The ideal is to do it with someone who has more experience, so at the time of feedback we have more valuable feedback about the approach. But that doesn’t mean that a person with the same level of knowledge cannot point out gaps or improvements.
It’s amazing to see here the evolution that Arthur Viana had during role playing, resulting in more qualifying meetings and more leads evolving in the sales funnel.
Practical tip 04
This activity needs 2 people. Invite your team manager to help you or invite a team salesperson. Really get into character trying to convince the other to invest more time in conversation or money.
After role-playing, you can think about what is important or could be improved in the speech.
Error 05: Not Properly Investigating Lead Scenario
Here comes the importance of SPIN, if one on the one hand there is a possibility that you can be successful prospecting by getting an interest in your lead emotionally, it is also important to know how to do it technically.
SPIN showed the investigation phase as the most important step in the sales process. It’s a way for you to understand your lead scenario and also educate them about your solution.
The impact of using this methodology is immense. By using SPIN questions, you will raise them far fewer objections.
Another point that this allows, and it is SENSATIONAL, is that it allows you not to make a general speech about your solution all the time. We know that, in complex sales, a single point can make your lead very hungry.
But the only way you can know what really matters to your lead is to ask.
Practical tip 05
Read our complete guide on SPIN Selling. Set 10 SPIN investigative questions. In the training, the team of Capital Smart City suggest that the salesperson write 3 situation questions, 4 problems, 4 implications and 2 need solutions.
From there, start to incorporate it judiciously during prospecting. Between a question and another you can educate your lead by directing what was answered.
Prospecting is really important for your sales process. Whether targeted or not, prospecting is the first time your lead contacts your company.
It’s important to make a good impression, do you agree?
If you liked this text, I ask you to share it with someone, after all, knowledge is never too much and that way you end up helping more people to master the art of prospecting.
Remember that practice is extremely important and is what will make you retain knowledge in a profound way.