Today’s guest, Jeb Blount, wrote his book Fanatical Prospecting to remove the complexity of prospecting and provide a formula for it’s use. Jeb’s core belief is that salespeople are the elite athletes of the business world. He empowers salespeople to fill their pipelines with traffic, believing that you fail when you neglect prospecting and have an empty or anemic pipeline. The basics of prospecting were instilled in Jeb by his teacher, Bob Blackwell. Jeb learned from Bob how to say the right things during calls and hone his work into a profitable career. Today’s resistance to prospecting stems from the lack of leadership like Bob’s as well as testaments of successful experiences. Where there is a lack of good leadership and praise for prospecting, Jeb steps in. From listening to and learning from a great sales manager, Jeb became great. Are you ready to get in the arena?
Embracing the most difficult job in sales
According to Jeb, prospecting is the most difficult job in sales. But, if you don’t prospect, you are not going to sell anything. Jeb puts it simply: you are not going to eat, much less have a job, if you dont prospect. As a sales manager, you need the courage required to tell the truth and to confront. You also need to hold your people accountable, observe their work, and have the conversations that spur on improvement. Jeb holds bootcamps to teach sales people how to prospect. He gets people’s pipelines filled up and ready for success. In sales, coaching and pushing are necessary to cut the excuses and get the appointments. In these bootcamps Jeb has power hours where everyone is making lists, making calls, and learning to stop wasting time, wasting people’s time. Prospecting can massively increase the velocity of creating opportunity, no matter your industry. Listen in to Jeb speak about the power you and your sales team are missing.
The art of interruption
There are so many ways to dive in and utilize prospecting. If we compare today to the 90’s, there are more options than just phone books and knocking on doors. But, the magic is still in the interrupting of people. Jeb preaches about the very much alive avenue of cold calling, due to the fear people have developed of picking up the phone and being that interruption. But once you start, Jeb says, it is easy. It might even be easier than it used to, because of the ability to research anyone you want before you call them. As a sales leader, it is your job to get your salespeople to interrupt. If you teach them to believe in the product and believe they are solving people’s problems, they will make the calls. Jeb’s methodology is a balanced approach to using the tools you already have to diversifying your prospecting and see the most conversations turn into booked appointments.If you want to be a sales leader, develop the managerial courage to interrupt.
Move up the prospecting pyramid
Jeb’s contagious belief in prospecting removes arguments against its use. He offers a chance to rethink the order of prospecting and approaching opportunity. Most salespeople think to call the first name on the list. But that is random thinking. Jeb teaches that the top sales reps call the highest probability deals first. They close that deal, set that appointment, and build their lists strategically. The first 10-15 calls are to those most likely to buy, so the pipeline fills with a better probability of producing results. Some experiences in cold calling start off with rejection after rejection, creating a terrible taste in a salesperson’s mouth. Is it time to rewrite your list? Get your wins early on, develop a better attitude, and set yourself up to sound better and feel better in sales. Learn from Jeb how to gather information to move clients up your prospecting pyramid and spend the most time with the likely deal closers. Jeb has done the research for you, all you need to do is tune in!
Social media- a siren song?
Is social selling a stupid term? Jeb Blount knows that social media was a game changer for salespeople. He stresses the importance of utilizing the social tools we have available and accesses the information it provides for today’s sales. Selling might even be easier than it has ever been, but are we approaching it strategically? How do you actualize the connections social media enables? Most social media outlets allows for quick connections, but do those connections turn into deals? Jeb warns against the quicksand of appearing to work hard and increase your sphere of influence without ever producing a sale. The indirectness social media proliferates allows salespeople to hide from the direct conversation that can happen over the phone. Has social media lured you as a siren song, leading you away from making any true progress? Weigh your action against your connections and come to your own conclusions from this episode of In the Arena.
Outline of this great episode
- Introduction of Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting.
- Who is Bob Blackwell?
- Early experience and expertise from leaders in prospecting.
- Diving into the book, Fanatical Prospecting.
- To cold call, or not to cold call?
- Dealing with the fear of interrupting.
- Looking at the numbers in prospecting.
- How much time does it really take to prospect?
- Dissecting the prospecting pyramid.
- Driving clients up the prospecting pyramid through information gathering.
- Social selling: what is it and how do you do it?
- Why is social media a siren-song for sales prospecting?
- Analyzing how and who prospected to Jeb’s company.
- The Fanatical Prospecting website.
- A final pitch from Jeb to amplify your success in 2016.
Sales Gravy University – tell Jeb that Anthony sent you.
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud