Benchmark Business Group

Prospecting in Constant Motion

July 7, 2015

Prospecting has a huge impact on any business. The problem in many businesses is that prospecting is not done consistently and is often done as a last moment reaction to a problem. A business realizes it needs more cash flow or sales to meet its goals and suddenly there is a mad dash to prospect. Unfortunately, most businesses prospecting activities don't go from Zero to Sixty easily. It's a process of building trust, feeding information, and slowly building a relationship that takes time.


All businesses need to strive for a consistent and reliable prospecting plan and this month we're going to challenge you to build that plan, one piece at a time. The secret to your prospecting plan is to make it a rolling plan. Using a rolling prospecting plan, your business will choose a time frame, we'll be using a three month plan, and then every month you will add the next month. For instance, a three month prospecting plan put together now will focus on August, September, and October. Then at the beginning of August you will develop the plan for November. This ensures that you are planning for the future but gives the ability to refresh your plan as needed.


Your rolling prospect plan needs to be tailored to your business and should always include:

 

  • Defined target market.  There are certain factors including seasonality, weather, or even product lines that can change the profile of your target market. Whether your market is constantly evolving or steady, use the time to clarify and ensure everyone has a clear picture of the target market.
     
  • Business goals.  Your prospecting plan will mainly focus on the number of people your business needs to talk to in order to reach your sales goals.  It's always a good idea to recap where the business is on sales goals and continue to discuss those goals. Never lose site of the end result, but also make sure the focus stays on what your team needs to do now to move the ball forward. This is all about pace.

    In order to set your pace you need to quantify, quantify, quantify. Track the numbers that lead to success. How many prospects are "qualified prospects", how many qualified prospects become customers? By tracking the prospecting activities in your business, you will have the information to analyze the results you are getting against your projections. This will allow you and your team to make any necessary adjustments to your plan to achieve better results.
     
  • Set accountability.  It's great to discuss prospecting, but your prospecting plan will only work if there is clear accountability of who is doing what and in what time frame. Every meeting should end with a recap of each individuals goals including: how many prospects they need to contact within a certain time frame, followed by a clear plan of how they will generate the prospects. Generation of prospects can include:
    • Referrals
    • Past customers
    • Current Customers - up-sells or cross-sells
    • Leads generated by active prospecting methods
    • Leads generated through passive advertising

Don't worry about creating your prospecting plan, just yet. We'll be walking you through gathering the needed resources and tips on implementing a prospecting plan throughout the rest of the month. For now, simply pay attention to the intention that your business allocates to prospecting. Get a good handle on your current culture and mindset around prospecting and then follow the rest of our articles this month to work on creating your Rolling Three. 

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