Many believe prospecting for new clients is the most difficult stage in the sales process.
Working at the top of the funnel is certainly filled with more rejection and dead ends than you’ll encounter once you connect and are into the discovery and advise stages.
With all the challenges in the early part of the sales process, it’s not surprising that many salespeople settle for less than desirable new accounts. These accounts often ending up spending less and wanting more. They may not be the best product fit, their results are mediocre, and they doubt the effectiveness of your solutions. They take precious time away from working with more ideal targets and key accounts. And they can suck the life out of your passion for being in sales.
A Sales Prospecting Story
There's a story that tells of three prospectors who hear of a mountain of gold.
They set off together in search of this ideal prospecting. Not too long into the journey, they find a mountain of copper. Maybe the legend of gold was mistaken, maybe this is as good as it gets.
One prospector decides to settle and stay at the copper mountain. He makes enough to survive, but always feels he’s working harder than what he is getting out of it.
The remaining two prospectors continue, and the journey goes on three times as long as it took to find the copper mountain. They’ve had their challenges along the way, and debate giving up and going back to the copper mountain. But they believe there is more, and they press on and come upon a silver mountain.
One prospector is elated. Silver! Surely this is what the legend was describing. Persistence paid off. But the last prospector won’t accept that and pushes on. The one who stayed at the silver mountain makes a decent living but is haunted by doubt that he settled for less.
The last prospector travels to the point where his supplies are nearly gone and his faith in finding the golden prospecting location is fully tested. And yes, at this eleventh hour he finds the mountain of gold. His faith and persistence carried him to the ideal prospecting location.
Does this mean that in your prospecting you just need to blindly push on, searching longer and harder than those that settle for less?
Yes and no.
Yes, because finding and closing large, great new accounts does take more time than simply adding another secondary level account to your list.
However, you don’t need to push on blindly. One thing never mentioned in the story is a map. You can accelerate your new business development process by focusing on ideal targets specific to your business and for you as a salesperson.
We’ve developed and refined the Target Business Profile and Target Business Profile Filter. These tools are your map to making sure the extra time you invest on finding gold, rather than copper of silver pays off. Our clients can access them in our Sales Accelerator Series. Get a sneak peek at one of those courses below.