D is for Daily
If you want to be successful in selling your product or service, you must be actively cultivating relationships and prospecting every single day. Each day you should be adding people to your list of contacts and having conversations with people to clarify if they are a good prospect.
The problems that sales professionals face is that in today's online and mobile crazy world, it is very easy to get distracted. Too many have fallen into the belief that posting on social media is active prospecting. The reality is that social media is a "best effort communication tool", so just because you posted it, you have no way of knowing if the right people saw your message. A tweet has a lifespan of less than 30 minutes, so if your prospects are not on the app at the exact right time, they will never see your message. Facebook and LinkedIn are no better.
There have always been distractions, and long before there was social media there were things that popped up that kept sales people from prospecting. Paperwork, internal meetings, servicing existing clients, research, networking events, etc... all have a way of moving your attention away from the important task of reaching out to those who can buy from you.
In the long run, if you are not filling your pipeline on a regular basis you will find that there will be little new business in the future.
The best way to stay on top of your prospecting for new clients is to do it every single day. Looking for clients is not a part-time job, it is the main thing you must do if you are in sales. I found the best way to do this is to dedicate a certain amount of time each morning to the process of making calls and sending out direct email. The phone and email are better ways to communicate than social media, as you are fairly certain they get seen. These used to be more effective, as not many people screen their calls and send unknown emails to spam folders, but they are still the best way to reach people.
Your outreach should be a combination of cold and warm calls. Cold calls send chills up the spine of many outbound sales people and they proclaim they do not work. But those who prospect regularly know that sometimes you connect with the right person at the exact right moment, and that brings in real business. Warm touches are to people who already know you or to whom you have a referral or other connection. These also will pay off when you find common ground.
And do not give up. A single call or email might be ignored, but over time many people will respond if you are persistent. By making a commitment to make a certain number of calls or to work the phones and email for a specified time frame, you will eventually see the results.
To be successful you need daily habits and you must be committed to taking the necessary actions. If you do not do it at the assigned time, it will not get done. Without focus on doing your prospecting everyday it becomes too easy to push it off again and again until suddenly you are way behind on your sales target.
The good news is that daily routines are the easiest thing you can change in your sales career. If you are not seeing the results you need, upping your consistency to prospecting will almost always help you turn the corner. Daily activity is paramount to your success.
Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies. He talks regularly to corporate audiences in competitive industries that are sales focused and whose people are seeking success. http://www.EngagingSalesSpeaker.com