Prospecting and Closing Process

The word and the process of “Prospecting” has to be one of the scariest words a person can hear in the sales and marketing industry. It means going out and hustling to try and find new customers. Also, as a consumer, we hate to be the person being pitched to. And imagine being the prospector who has to be the one that most people hate. The unsolicited salesperson hounding people on the phone, on the sidewalk, at the coffee shop, at the super market.

I don’t think there’s anyone listening to this who doesn’t have experiences of getting cold calls on the phone by telemarketers. And it doesn’t matter that you’re on the “Do Not Call” list. I doubt the Feds are going to go and prosecute some offshore call center from who knows where.

Now I a confession to make, and I’ll be honest. I don’t know why but I get a ton of them, 3-5 a day. So sometimes I like to play games. My favorite is to pick the phone up, pause for 3 seconds, then say “Hello!”. Usually someone will start talking. If it’s a recording, I hang up immediately. If it’s someone live, I wait about 5 seconds more then say “Hello!” once again. Then 5 more seconds later I say, “Who is this?”. I then carefully listen for their name. When I hear it, I immediately say, “Oh, they’re not here!”, then hang up.

Well I said that “Prospecting” has to be one of the scariest words in the sales and marketing industry. Next in line for someone in sales, is “Closing”. That brings up visions of having to sell. Fear that you need to know every last minute detail about your product or service. Fear and worry about what needs to be said next and concentrating on that. Thinking about when to ask for the sale. Thinking about how to transition. Fear about not knowing the answer to a question and fear appearing stupid.

Yup. Those descriptions of what prospecting and closing are right on. You see most people when put in a position where they have to sell are severally crippled with those fears. They know that people hate being sold to, and that they are the person trying to do it.

That was me. I could list off 100’s of facts about my products. I even knew the research behind them, the science, how the research was done, by who, when, let alone the actual product itself. What I found out later, is I was vomiting on them. People could care less about most of those facts. What they care about is “What would this do for me?”.

I figured that I was the one doing to people what I hate. The first thing people will do is get a fight or flight response. If they can’t get away, they’ll unconsciously tune you out, in one ear and out the other. And what I find, because it’s done all the time, even by me, is I’ll lie and make up excuses about being busy, or have other options. Actually, some of the psychology behind this is that people really hate to say “No”. But avoidance is at all costs.

So then as a salesman, even if one does get to the point where they have a closing opportunity, because of the thousands and thousands of times they’ve been rejected, at the first hint of irritation, they lose their optimism and resign their opportunity. You’ve been told “No” so many times that they become conditioned to fail.

So, when it comes to sales and marketing, especially in the direct sales industry, people are not trained properly, and in some cases, not at all. Unfortunately, and we see it all over, people are approached with products, services, and opportunities all over the place by untrained salespeople. So there is a bias against most people in the industry that they are all slimy used car salesmen, and that they are slewing scams. But not all people sales people are like that.

So now “Prospecting”, I’d like to contrast the differences between our stereo-typical telephone marketer and one where if you were the prospector that:

  1. The person you called was expecting your phone call. That’d make it easier for sure.
  2. The person you called was in the market for your product or service. Better yet.
  3. You only had to speak with them for no more than 2-3 minutes with a few brief questions. This is done via a standard template.
  4. You didn’t have to talk about your products or service.
  5. You didn’t have to sell, convince, anything.
  6. Your only goal was to provide them information via a website, webinar, video, or presentation. If asked you simply state that the answers are in/on the website, webinar, video, or presentation.

So those look far different that the types of calls I get when I play pranks.

Likewise, I’d like to contrast the “Closing”. Imagine if:

  1. They call you. Yes, they call you. No chasing or even following up.
  2. You know they are extremely qualified and are seeking what you are marketing.
  3. You know they know about your products, their features and benefits, their prices, and even the company behind the manufacturing and distribution.
  4. You don’t have to worry about price. They know them.
  5. You have at your fingertips a 30-day risk free guarantee that you can offer.
  6. The product or service you market has first class product support.

OK, that is far different than the stereo-typical sales and marketing sequence. If those items above in the Prospecting and Closing sections were to happen, things could be much less stressful and scary. Now imagine doing these processes in an nice relaxed atmosphere where you are present, have no anxiety, can anticipate responses, and most importantly, you’ve done 1000’s of times using the same technique. How confident would you feel?

So the points to take away here are:

  1. People are expecting your call. You only have to ask a few questions to qualify. Your goal is to send them to a website, webinar, video, or presentation.
  2. Understand that the website, webinar, video, or presentation will answer 95% of any questions they may have dealing with the company, the products/services, the price points, guarantee, and support if needed.  This is what does the selling. You don’t have to. When it is over, they will call you if they want to move forward.
  3. Closing at this point is treated as an assumption sale. You know many things about this prospect and they know many things about your products and services. Understand that there are really only 2 types of objections and they can be handled with your product/service 30 day guarantee.

I hope this has put a different perspective on what it takes to be successful in the direct selling industry. What I’ve done with my Daily Crusher Team, is set up a complete website that goes over all this information and more. (preview @ covers marketing strategy, lists-leads-prospects, prospecting templates, closing templates, a presentation for our products and services. Not does it only provide ways of doing things, but the psychology, the critical thinking as to why they are done this way. This turn-key system for my team standardizes our business model and is easily tweaked, monitored, and provides a clear direction for the future.

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