Earlier this year I sat in on the 2015 Virtual Sales Kickoff hosted by my friend S. Anthony Iannarino (along with Jeb Blount). I was particularly impressed with the first speaker Mike Weinberg—sales coach, consultant, and author of the book New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development. Mike’s presentation, “4 Tips to Power Up Prospecting in 2015,” blew me away.
Naturally, I followed up to “meet” Mike via email and asked him if I could share his tips with my blog audience. To my great delight (and yours), he graciously agreed to this request. We’ll review each tip one at a time—but first, let’s see what they are:
Mike Weinberg’s 4 Tips to Power Up Prospecting in 2015:
- Part 1: Tip #1 Believe it works
- Part 2: Tip #2 Commit to It
- Part 3: Tip #3 Compelling Story
- Part 4: Tip #4 Reconcile Relationship with the Phone
Mike is unashamedly passionate AND practical about prospecting. So, what is prospecting, exactly? Mike sums up the definition of prospecting in three P’s: Proactively Pursuing Prospects. Throughout the presentation, he debunks the argument of inbound marketing “experts” and social selling gurus who preach that outbound is out, and inbound is … well, in. Mike’s passion is backed up with information that is clear, direct and concise. No riddles, no secret codes—no puzzles to complicate matters. He is spot on. You’ll walk away informed and, dare I say, inspired.
Tip 1: You have to BELIEVE prospecting works.
Prospecting continues to be an effective and successful way of identifying and creating opportunities. Unfortunately there’s a growing population of naysayers—“Detractors to Prospecting”—who refuse to acknowledge this to be true. These are the folks who conspire to tell you that prospecting doesn’t work. They tend to fall into one of two groups: Peers and Experts.
Peers are colleagues or people in the same industry that secretly do not want you to succeed for fear that they will be forced to do what you’re doing. Their approach is subtle. Their message—a whisper.
Experts, on the other hand, preach from the pulpit that prospecting today is fruitless, outdated … even dead. They claim that buyers are 70% of the way through the buying process before engaging a salesperson. To which, Mike responds, may be true when it comes to lazy salespeople who wait around for leads to be served up to them on a silver platter. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a straw man—a deterrent from the truth.
Why raise such a fuss? Why does Mike so vehemently oppose such claims? For one thing, inbound marketing alone can never generate enough leads to work and fill a pipeline. Case in point: The CEO of one of the largest inbound marketing companies revealed to him that they actually use an outbound marketing team to sell the service of the inbound marketing team. Secondly, it’s hard to be perceived as a consultant and value creator when you arrive so late to the party. Those who fall for this will inevitably find themselves eating the dust of their more proactive competitors. And finally, these “experts” are just flat out wrong!
Coming up next: Tip #2 Commit to It.