- Prospecting is difficult. It isn’t easy to open the new relationships that create new opportunities. A lot of things that are supposed to be prospecting don’t do enough to open the new relationships or the opportunities. If something is easy, it probably isn’t prospecting.
- Prospecting requires that you ask for the commitment of time. In business-to-business sales, you mostly need a face-to-face conversation. If what you are doing doesn’t require your dream client to make that commitment, then it isn’t likely that it is really prospecting.
- Prospecting results in you hearing the word “no” a fair bit. Because you are asking, some people will say “no.” Some won’t have perceived the need. Some won’t be susceptible to your pitch or perceive the value in meeting with you. Some say “no” to every salesperson because they have a relationship. If what you are doing doesn’t result in some people rejecting your ask, it probably isn’t prospecting.
- Much of the time, prospecting feels like work. What comes after prospecting can feel a lot more fun. The first meeting is exciting. Presenting is even more exciting. Even the stress of fighting for a deal and coming up with a strategy is exhilarating. If what you are doing doesn’t feel like work, if you don’t feel any resistance to doing it, it is probably something other than prospecting.
- The outcome of your prospecting efforts is appointments. You make some effort, you produce some number of appointments. Appointments are what count, and they are what is counted. If what you are doing doesn’t count, or if counting it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t prospecting.
Do you need your calendar open and available? If not, you are doing something other than prospecting.
If you really love what you are doing, but you right now don’t have enough opportunities and are struggling to make your number, then you want to change what you are doing and start prospecting.