Posted by Danielle LaVigne ● Sun, Feb 13, 2011 @ 09:02 AM

Increase Sales By Focusing Your Prospecting Efforts

describe the imageWhen a sales person is struggling one of the first questions we ask is "how many people are on your target prospect list?"  Usually we find a list with everything and the kitchen sink.  Too many names.  Too many target accounts.  Too many titles.  Too many target industries.  Too spread out geographically.  In short, a target prospect list that shows a total lack of focus.

Usually when we point this out to a struggling sales person we hear something like "Yes, but anyone of these prospects could potentially buy from me."  And that's probably true and some probably will, which will only reinforce the belief that casting a wide prospecting net is an effective sales strategy.  In our experience it's not.

On the other extreme, when we look at the target prospecting list of a highly successful, top producing sales person we usually see a much more focused and narrowly targeted list.  They have usually found their niche and are concentrating their sales efforts on being the dominant provider in that niche.  It could be a specific industry, it could be a specific title or functional role within a prospect's organization, it could be a narrow geographical area, or it could be a combination of multiple characteristics.

To get started, take a look at your top client successes (or the client successes of the top sales people on your team) and ask:
  • What does my dream client look like? 
  • What characteristics should they have? 
  • What do I like about working with them?
  • Who else has those same traits? 
  • Is it role-specific? 
  • Is it industry-specific? 
  • Is it situational? 
Then ask yourself the following tough questions:
  • Who do I need to become as a sales person to effectively serve these dream clients?
  • What do I need to STOP doing so I can focus my sales efforts exclusively on those ideal clients?
  • What do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone to target decision makers at my ideal cleint?
  • How can I leverage this renewed focus to improve my networking and referral strategies?
Instead of casting a wide net and just hoping for the best, take ownership of your sales success by narrowing your sales focus.  One way to do that is to use our Free Sales Focus Worksheet.  Thanks and good selling!

Topics: Prospecting, lead generation, Listening Skills, Cold Calling, sales process, strategy, networking

Comments