You can’t spell ideal without an idea!

Puzzled? Are you puzzled by the “smile & dial” prospecting method? Me Too!

Don’t  get me wrong, I am a firm believer that in TeleSales – if you don’t call people, you will never be able to earn their business  (more about that in my Inside Sales Behavior Pyramid post from 2009-04-08).

I also believe that NOT knowing what you’re looking for makes it very difficult, if not impossible to find.

Just think, you walk through a door and your best friend is frantically searching the room. Picking up chair cushions, opening every drawer, sorting through papers – it looks like a crime scene on NCIS.

Instead of taking a moment to ask any questions – you start looking as well: you look in the same places, different places, under, over, inside…. after 20 minutes all of the sudden you look up and ask;

What are we looking for?

Yes I know that sounds silly, even ridiculous – in truth ever day there are salespeople who are doing that. Picking up the phone – hoping beyond hope that when someone answers they will find what they are looking for.

My question is – how will they know?

Before you start calling today – take a deep breath and think about what makes your BEST customers great? List out 5 things about your top 10 customers (if some of those 10 aren’t your idea of “ideal” (hey I just realized you can’t spell ideal without having an idea and I’m changing the title of this post).

Next call your best contact at the customers you would label ideal – ask them what it is about you and your company, product, service, etc that makes you a good fit to work together.

NOW: translate that into customer speak “how does that potentially help me” is the answer they are looking for.

Need an example – I work with salespeople who are good at what they do and want to be FANTASTIC. (what I do or how I do that isn’t really relevant until I’m in a conversation).

OR – Are you stuck in the middle of the pack? Salespeople who participate in my coaching program saw 19% increase in their sales over people who didn’t participate. That was in the 6 months after the program.

Now it’s your turn – who are you looking for AND why do they care about working with you?

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