Madison left her appointment with Dr. Roberts, walked straight to her car (with me following), got in and drove away. “What about all of the other doctors in that complex? “Why didn’t we call all of those too?” I asked.
Sales reps like Madison, walk out of appointments and right past what might be their next sale, without blinking an eye. They usually mumble something about not having enough time or lunch or some other lame excuse. But the real truth is they are oblivious. They are myopic and unaware of the opportunities that are often right next door to their prospect.
That’s why you’ve got to put your “Sales Goggles” on so you can see those opportunities. This is how fanatical prospectors do it. They train themselves to be acutely aware of the opportunities around them. They are always on – looking around every corner, behind every bush, and in every window for their next prospect.
Look to the left, the right, and behind you every time you go into or come out of an appointment and make it a point to walk into those doors and gather information.
Likewise remain aware as you drive from place to place in your territory. New prospects and opportunities are everywhere. When you see a new business, new construction, or a company you’ve never noticed before, put your sales foot, on the sales brake, get out of your of your sales car, and walk through the door.
Look for the names of businesses on delivery trucks and signs. If the trucks are parked, stop and quiz the drivers. You’ll be amazed at how much information they will give you about the business, decision makers, buying windows, and your competitors.
Personally, I make it a practice to speak to every person I meet that is wearing a uniform or logoed shirt with the name of their company on it. I ask them about their company and who makes decisions there. They can almost always tell me who the decision makers are at their company and often know where my competitor is failing. I also talk to the person next to me in line, on trains, and airplanes. Over the past five years I’ve generated more than a half million dollars in business from these conversations.
Keep your eye out for business cards pinned to gas station and restaurant bulletin boards. When I see cards that match my sales vertical I grab them, call them, qualify, and add the information to my database.
If you don’t have time to stop and walk into a business or chat up a delivery driver use that amazing tool in your pocket called a smart phone. When you are driving down the road and you see the name of a potential prospect on a sign or truck just record a voice memo or note to yourself. You can also use your camera to take pictures of signs, new business locations, and the sides of trucks. When you get back to the office do a little bit of research, create a call list, and reach out to qualify or set an appointment.
Remain alert for businesses and people that are using a product or service similar to yours. Recently when working with a group a mobile device sales reps I asked the question:
“How many of you notice people using mobile phones in public?”
All the hands went up.
“How many of you notice people using outdated phones or phones with cracked and damaged screens?”
All the hands went up.
“How many of you think that most of these people would like an upgrade to the newest equipment or a phone screen that doesn’t look like a kaleidoscope and cut their fingertips?”
Most hands went up.
“How many of you hand those people your business card and let them know that you can get them a new phone for little if no cost?”
Not a single hand went up.
Final point. Awareness without action is useless. Be fanatical. Put on the sales brake, walk up to people, ask questions, and hand them your business card. Sure, some people might get irritated but most people will help you, talk to you, and give you a chance.
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