How To Stop Chasing Prospects Forever!

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by salespeople is the problem of chasing prospects. In this article I'll explain exactly why that happens, and how you can avoid it entirely and make prospects chase you instead.

I once heard Donald Trump say, "In selling, you must never appear desperate. As soon as you look desperate, it's over."

A friend and I were talking about the dynamics of a cold call the other day. When we make that call, we usually hope and expect that the prospect will be receptive to hearing what we have to say. However, salespeople face increasing resistance to cold calling, as well as increasing flakiness on the part of prospects who do meet with them. Instead of thinking, "Ok, this may be interesting," here's what most prospects actually think when they receive a cold call: "Great. You don't know me and I don't know you. You have no idea what my goals are. You don't even know if we need what you're selling, and in spite of all that, you've decided to waste my time anyway with this call."

What is increasingly becoming the norm is to be rejected by the good, solid prospects everyone wants, and to get appointments with flakey time-wasters who will never buy. Flakiness, in particular, is a growing problem thanks to the fact that prospects are increasingly bombarded with endless advertising as well as endless salespeople. When you consider the fact that few prospects actually have the courage to say "no" and instead choose to blow us off and make excuses, it becomes even more frustrating.

One of the main themes I try to teach salespeople is two-fold: 1) You must be supremely confident. 2) You must get into the habit of qualifying prospects OUT instead of merely qualifying them. It is the appropriate response to ever-increasing flakiness and evasiveness on the part of prospects. It's our way of communicating to them, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen" in a non-verbal way. The idea of taking the lead and qualifying prospects out is scary at first, and as a result most salespeople aren't willing to do it, but it will save you lots of otherwise wasted time with prospects who aren't really serious, and will free that time up to be spent with prospects who are going to buy.

It's important to start all sales relationships from a position of power, and you do this in two ways: 1) Through your outward presentation. This is easily accomplished by acting very professional and dressing better than your prospects, rather than taking the wrong advice of "dressing like your prospects." It's easy to say "no" to someone with whom you're comfortable, but much more difficult to say "no" to someone who intimidates you. 2) Through your actions. A great example is someone who is squirrely about agreeing to an appointment with you. In many cases, these are the people who finally agree to meet with you but eventually blow you off without buying. When I found myself in this situation, I discovered a great way to overcome it. It goes back to the idea of confidence bordering on mild arrogance, and puts you in the position of power. When you're getting the runaround, something like "Well, we'll let you know when we have time to pencil you in," say something like, "Great, let me know. I'm very busy so I need to know either way - NOW." This will get rid of time-wasters, and with serious prospects, will clearly communicate that you're a serious businessperson, should be taken seriously, and will not tolerate having your time wasted and otherwise being disrespected. It will also set you apart from the competition and greatly increase your chances of getting the sale.

As time goes on and I work with more salespeople, I'm realizing that this idea of being powerful really overrides everything else, and once you can pull it off, it overshadows everything. You can do a poor job of presenting and selling and yet this can carry you all by itself. For anyone who is doubtful about this idea of presenting yourself as overconfident and even a little bit arrogant, I'll go back to Donald Trump since he's famous for his giant ego. I saw him on Larry King, and as they were taking live calls, one of the callers openly confronted him about his massive ego and Larry King jumped on and questioned him about it as well. Donald Trump simply replied, "Have you EVER met a successful person who didn't have a big ego?" After some hemming and hawing from King, Trump repeated the question to him, and King finally said, "No."

Moving on from the idea of avoiding an appearance of desperation and creating an appearance of power, there's another very good reason as to why prospects who are uncovered via cold calling are flakey. This one has nothing to do with us and everything to do with a particular prospect's mindset and level of sales vulnerability to begin with.

Most of us have noticed, at some time or another, that prospects who absolutely refuse to take cold calls and have giant "No Soliciting" signs plastered on their front doors tend to be the easiest to sell to once you manage to get in front of them. There are a few popular theories as to why this is so, the most common one being the idea that since so few salespeople get through to begin with, there is little competition and therefore a better chance of getting the sale. However, I know the real reason behind this.

The reason those people are so defensive against sales pitches and have all those "No Soliciting" signs is quite simple. They are AFRAID of salespeople. They know very well that they have a very difficult time saying "no," and as such they are highly vulnerable to sales presentations and know very well that if a salesperson gets to them, they'll probably buy whether they need to or not.

(I never figured this out until I spoke with an expert on social dynamics who has studied the subject of human social interaction in depth. He explained that the people who act the coldest and most unapproachable in social settings do so because they're overly vulnerable to being seduced and falling in love and therefore are afraid of what someone's advances may lead to.)

Now that we've explained why those people are the easiest to sell to, let's look at the opposite type of prospect: those who willingly take your call and willingly agree to set an appointment.

If those who are easily sold won't take your call and won't agree to meet with you, why would someone be so agreeable to taking your call and meeting with you? Exactly. It's because they have no fear of salespeople. They know right from the start that there's little chance of them being sold. Their openness and receptiveness to your call puts us off-guard. We think we have a great shot at a sale, but in reality we're meeting with someone who is 99% certain not to buy.

Since the people who willingly take cold calls usually don't buy, and the people who usually buy don't take cold calls, what's the solution? Since those who are easily sold almost always meet with salespeople only when they've called the salesperson first and not the other way around, you must get your message across to these people in creative and effective ways other than cold calling.

To those highly desirable prospects who are easily sold, all salespeople seem the same. The only way to win with them is to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd.

The first way to accomplish this is to be that powerful businessperson who needs nothing and deserves respect. I think most of us were taught and have gotten into the habit of treating prospects as superiors and as a result we tend to do whatever is convenient for prospects and otherwise kiss up to them. We are used to rearranging our schedules just to meet with that one prospect. Stop this, and start expecting your prospects to treat YOU with the respect and consideration you deserve as someone who is not only a business equal, but who has the knowledge and wisdom to help them and improve their businesses and their lives.

The second way to stand out is to stop cold calling. Nothing will stereotype you as a typical salesperson faster than a cold call. The way to win with prime prospects is to get your message across to them in ways that don't use cold calling. You'll get in front of the easy sales, and you won't have any competition once you get there.

Frank Rumbauskas is the author of Cold Calling Is a Waste of Time: Sales Success in the Information Age. He is the founder of FJR Advisors LLC, which publishes training materials on generating business without cold calling. For more information, please visit http://www.nevercoldcall.com

Do You Fold Like A Taco?

Have you ever eaten a soft taco? The shell isn't hard - it is soft... Read More

Why Salespeople Fail

Since 1990 I have focused on the three primary barriers which affect the performance of... Read More

Quick Tips On Handling Rejection

Looking for a way to handle rejection?Edward W. Smith, motivational speaker, author and TV show... Read More

How to Master the Art of Salesmanship

I put together this little article because, although basic, we all must "master the art... Read More

How To Go Perpendicular In Your Sales Territory

First and foremost are you thinking Strategically? "Do you have what it takes to do... Read More

Focus On The Customer: The Only Secret To Closing

People are always looking for ways to close the sale. Often times when you lose... Read More

Busting Your Assumptions: Effective Probing Techniques for Sales Professionals

Do you find yourself making these kinds of assumptions?- "I lost the sale because my... Read More

The Reason Why They Buy

If you're a business person you want to sell your product or service. If it's... Read More

Sales Discipline: Five Steps To Recover From A Lost Sale

Ever lost a sale? Of course you have, we all have. The difference between the... Read More

Emotions That Sell, Part 2

In the last article, we looked at three emotions (besides fear and greed) that you... Read More

10 Boundless Ways To Anchor Down More Sales

1. Multiply your marketing and advertising efforts on the Internet. You can accomplish this... Read More

Sales Tips from Sales Masters

Dogs are great teachers of how to sell easier and better. And if you think... Read More

5 Powerful Tips To Persuasion!

Having excellent persuasion skills is one of the most important abilities to possess in today's... Read More

How To Write Sales Letters That Deliver

Tired of sending out sales letters that generate anemic response? You could blame your list,... Read More

8 Must Questions to Ask in Every Sales Situation

Solving people's and organization's problems is ultimately what business is all about. Effective selling involves... Read More

Get Tough

You deal with rejections, frustrations, disappointment, and possibly disrespect on a daily basis. You probably... Read More

How One Simple Concept Can Increase Your Sales

We all want to belong. As humans we feel the need to fit in somewhere,... Read More

How to Build Rapport in 7 Seconds!

I had my first official sales training by a man who believed in being very... Read More

The Choice between Yes and Yes: A Psychological Revelation

Three year old Kara was throwing a tantrum. She didn't want to go to bed,... Read More

Let Your Weaknesses Increase Your Sales

Imagine...you inquire about a product. The salesperson does everything right. Says the rights words, emphasis... Read More

The Multiplying Factor In Sales Success

Mark has an attitude! Mark had worked in an operational capacity in the plant of... Read More

Qualifying vs closing

The art of effective question asking (qualifying) determines the effectiveness and the success of the... Read More

Attitude Insurance

Everyone knows the importance of having a positive attitude, especially in the health insurance industry.... Read More

Body Language, Five Key Ingredients

When making your living in the sales industry, and working with people, it is important... Read More

Cutting Through Stalls and Objections

It's the prospect. If stalls and objections frequently come up in your sales calls, it's... Read More

Simple Technique for Isolating Objections

To isolate any objection quickly you can use this effective and powerful sentence - "Aside... Read More

Make Your Referrals Count

Just because we receive a referral, it doesn't mean that the sale is ours and... Read More

Spend More Time Selling

On average a sales person spends less than two hours per day selling their products.... Read More

A Revolutionary NEW Dimension in Sales

A Revolutionary 'NEW' Dimension In Sales: Make many more closings in the same amount of... Read More

Want to Make More Money? Fish in a Bigger Pond!

Setting prices is a dilemma most service business owners encounter at one time or another.... Read More

Sales Skills are Life Skills

I love the art of selling. LOVE IT. When I first entered the field of... Read More

Make Your Prospects Speak

You've probably heard people speaking about someone that he was born a salesperson. You might... Read More

Increase Your Sales in 5 Minutes

Increase your sales-in five minutes. This article is the third in a series of five... Read More

In Sales You Get What You Expect

If your mind is set, you will be unable to change your mindset. For example... Read More

7 Safety Tips Every Realtor and Door-to-Door Sales Professional Need to Practice

These are the top 7 safety tips that criminals don't want you to know. It... Read More

How to Sound Just Like a Salesperson

Prospect - "So now that I've told you what we are looking for, do you... Read More

The Biggest Mistake in Sales Prospecting

Recently I received a prospecting voice mail message from a salesperson. The salesperson explained his... Read More

Do You Know the Emotion Behind the Objection?

Prospects have many reasons (you might think excuses) for not buying your product or service.... Read More

Six Simple Steps to Increase Sales and Decrease Stress

Have you ever found a lead on a scrap of paper after the prospect purchased... Read More

Successful Sales Strategies: Winning the Close Ones

The "Three Cs" in building customer relationships are a key component of professional selling skills.Indianapolis,... Read More

Is the Sales Funnel Dead?

Think about it. If only it was as easy as "filling a funnel" and having... Read More

7 Phrases You Cant Say in Sales

7 Phrases You Can't Say in Sales (Because They Will Undermine Your Credibility and... Read More

Follow-Up Marketing: How to Win More Sales with Less Effort

A study done by the Association of Sales Executives revealed that 81% of all sales... Read More

Make More Sales By Creating How To Use It Product Updates

Do you have any idea what your customers have experienced from using the products they... Read More

Ten Ways to Super Charge Your Sales

1. Add a no-fee interactive game to your web site. You couldhire someone to create... Read More

Pressure Washer Business; Cleaning Composite Decks

There is a new trend in the way wood decks are constructed; composite decks and... Read More

Dont Close Your Eyes Or Let Deaf Ears Fall Upon You

To listen to your customer is important, and to hear your customer is critical. But,... Read More

Are You Missing Out On Sales Through Fear of Pain? Improve the Persuasive Power of Your Words!

Education plus Motivation is a powerful formula. But how do you ensure the motivation level... Read More

More Sales with Less Selling

Have you ever passed by a bakery display case without feeling the urge to buy... Read More

When Youre In sales Always Aim Higher

Yesterday I did a sales training program for a great company. This company is 64... Read More