If you don’t have a prospect, you are out of business. – Zig Ziglar
Life follows a defined order. The sequence of life usually follows the mathematical order of counting one before two. Nature follows a defined arrangement. When you sow, you reap. When you work, you eat. The farmer that plants mango will reap mango and not orange. What you plant is what you harvest; what you sow is what you reap. This is a natural sequence.
It is also imperative to note that the result you get is proportionate to the effort you make. If you want to get more result, you have to get ready to put in more efforts. Life follows this simple order. Successful folks follow this order too. Once you invest effort in the right place at the right time, the result is usually positive. This is an indisputable fact in personal and professional life.
Look out for viable prospects
Now, let’s bring this logic to the sales world. Many authorities agree that the first duty of a business is to discover customers. Management expert, Peter Drucker propounded this idea over 40 years ago. You can’t think of success of any business without this first function. No customers, no business. But, put in proper perspective, it is: no prospect, no customer…no business!
This is the appropriate sequence because customers come from viable prospects. Customers don’t just emerge – unless in an open market situation where buyers come in to buy and go their way after doing their businesses. In this situation, they buy out of their volition in preferred places. Otherwise, winning customers is as a result of the effort that sales and marketing people make on their prospects.
It is common knowledge in personal selling that prospects are discovered before customers. This means that it takes a prospect to find a customer. It takes customers to build and sustain a business. Successful sales professionals keep their prospects’ account in green always. Smart sales professionals discover new viable prospects every day. This is how to maintain a positive prospects’ reservoir.
Your prospects accounts must be on the increase daily if you want to maintain a healthy customer base. You will rely on viable prospects when the going gets tough. Successful salespeople employ this strategy. They expand their viable prospects accounts all the time because viable prospects serve as lifeline when the marketplace is stiffer than imagined. A salesman who keeps developing new viable prospects will likely have a lot of people to sell to.
I have repeatedly used the word “viable” here. Let me explain this. Not all prospects will end up as customers. Sales activities require a sequence of deliberate actions to convert a prospect to a customer. Viable or positive end up as customers. Salesmen should ensure that they develop this aspect of selling. The salesman should follow up on prospects that will give desired result. Ensure you follow the right prospect. Ensure also that you are selling your product in the right market, at the right time, for the right prospect. This is what makes a prospect viable.
Smart selling encourages spending more resources: Time, energy and money in places that will give the best outcome. Resources are limited; therefore it is advisable to be efficient in the field. Use the available resources to get the best result. This is the way of champions.
Spending resources where results won’t be felt is not the way to go in today’s tough business environment. Some places will not yield desired results. Some places will end up frustrating the salesman!
A viable prospect is the lifeline of the business. No business will survive without viable prospects. Salesmen should continue to discover new prospects on daily basis and never get tired of doing so. This is real selling. The salesman should constantly be on the move. He is like a minister of the gospel who goes about spreading the good news. The good news must be heard by all!
Selling is an active profession. There is nothing like an ‘‘armchair salesman.’’ You just have to ensure that you get things done. Your product should be on every shelf within your sales territory. This is your calling as a salesman. Let your worth be felt.
George O. Emetuche
Brian Tracy endorsed bestselling author, speaker, and sales trainer.