In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains the dangers associated with ‘Cherrypicking’ your prospects, and the impact it can have on you and your team…..
The Challenge……you’re sitting down to make some sales calls……….you’ve got your list of prospects in front of you (or on the computer)…..and you find yourself going down the list and “evaluating” who to call…….
Can you relate to this situation?!!….This happens quite often for salespeople and business owners!
So why would you spend ages researching who to ring, and put them into your diary/contact system for calls today, only to “filter” through them just as you’re about to ring?!! Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
In fact I can imagine you right now….sitting there……looking through the list….and saying to yourself “he won’t be in today, I’ll call him next week”, “He’s just back from holiday, better not disturb him yet, he’ll be busy”, “hmmm, that would be some good business for me but I’m not ready to ring them yet, I’ll make a coffee first”….and so on!
So why do you think this is? This procrastination about who to ring?
Having worked with thousands of salespeople and business owners around the area of cold calling and sales in general it seems to come down to a number of things…..
Andy’s Reason Number 1 – Lack Of Confidence In Your Cold Calling Abilities
How do you feel when you know you’re about to pick up the phone? Enthusiastic? Motivated? or more like Nervous? Afraid? How you feel before you pick up the phone will have a strong impact on how you perform on the call!
How are you feeling right now?
Andy’s Reason Number 2 – A Poor Prospect List
You’ve got hold of the “data” somewhere and anywhere will do – there’s been no research done into the company or any initial call to find out the name of the decision maker, let alone any idea if this company is even a prospect for what you offer.
Andy’s Reason Number 3 – The Last Call To This Prospect Was Rubbish!
It’s been in your callback list for ages and you keep moving it back in your diary because you remember how the prospect treated your call last time – and you’d hate to go through that again, wouldn’t you?
Andy’s Reason Number 4 – You’ve Already ‘Decided’ That This Call Is Going To Be Terrible!
You’re worried about this call aren’t you? Something is stopping you making it and you’re imagining it’s going to go very badly. Perhaps due to one of the above reasons, or it might also be that the prospect would represent a very good deal for you and you’re frightened of messing it up if you don’t do it properly?
Successful athletes talk about the value of “visualisation” or “mental rehearsal” – a process where they visualise the event happening in their mind (before it actually takes place) and “see” it happening perfectly – exactly as they wanted it.
What we tend to do when it comes to Cold Calling (or even Warm Calling!) is what I call “negative visualisation” – we see the event happening, but always predict the result to be terrible! That would include not getting through to the prospect, them not seeing value in what you offer, having the phone put down on you etc etc.
The challenge is – when we “cherrypick” prospects, we’re usually only making the “easy” calls, the ones where we feel most comfortable with the people on the other end of the phone! In fact, we’ve probably got a few favourite clients haven’t we? The ones we can call for a “chat” so we can feel like we’re doing something to develop our business, rather than avoiding calling – but they never seem to buy any more from us?
This Happens In Field Sales Too…..
This is exactly the same as field-sales people doing what I call the “Tea and Biscuit Tour” (or ‘calling for cake’ as one of my clients calls it) – calling on existing clients or prospects they get on well with (usually for a drink and a chat) in order to avoid walking into potential new clients or trying to win new business!
Cold Calling (or any kind of calling for that matter) is about energy – keeping up the energy and enthusiasm from one call to another. Which means you have to make call after call after call so you’re in the “flow” or the “zone” as an athlete would call it.
If you’re wasting time between calls – “cherrypicking” prospects, searching through the database, playing with your email, making coffee etc, you’re probably not aware of how much it is affecting your calls, or the results from them.
In summary, the big lesson in this article is – never “cherrypick” your prospecting or cold calls – The next person you ring could have an order waiting for you……or be giving it to someone else if you don’t make the call!
Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..