Why it Pays to be Picky in Sales

Why Goals + Clarity = Success

Having absolute clarity around targets and goals in life is a must if you want to achieve anything.

What do you want?

When do you want it?

What are the critical elements of this?

Why is it important to me?

All valid questions whether you’re talking about a new car, new house, new wardrobe, new life…

Having clarity around what your goal is, makes a huge difference to the chance you have of achieving it.

And that applies to the clarity of vision you have around what your perfect prospect looks like.

Yet why do so many sales people chase after every lead as if it was their perfect prospect?

Be a Picky Sales Person

Chasing every single sales lead is a fast track to busy fool via a number of unsavory places called broke, exhausted, stressed, rejected and marginally psychotic.

The truth is the more clarity you have around who you want to do business with, the easier it will be to find that prospect.

The more clearly you’ve defined the perfect prospect attributes, the easier it will be to spot them in a crowd.

You might say you only want to do business with prospects who wear red hats, just imagine, how easy is it now to spot your sales prospects from a multitude of sales prospects in an entire rainbow of coloured hats.

Without a doubt your brain will go look for, and find, what you tell it to look for and find.

But you have to be specific.

Woolly instructions get second rate search results…

Being Specific Helps Your Brain Deliver

So you only want to date blondes? Your brain won’t even see brunettes.

Looking for a black car? See how easily your eyes slide around the showroom, ignoring all the other pretty colours?

Only want a hotel by the sea? That’s exactly what you’d put into Expedia or your travel site, because that’s all you want to look at.

Maybe Google Search Criteria Could Help Brain Searches be More Effective and Efficient?

I would wager that we spend more time formulating our Google searches and search criteria than we spend formulating our prospect searches in our own brain…

What do you think?

Maybe if we started using our brain’s search function like we use Google on our browser to search out exactly what we wanted in our sales pipeline we’d have lots of time, money and business.

Think about the last time you used Google to search something specific, here’s mine…

Walking holiday + uk + group + lakes + summer + 2018 + guided

And I got a very specific list, scanned the first 6, looked at their websites and called/emailed 3 for more information – took 15 minutes tops.

So, how often do you do the same when you’re searching for your perfect sales prospect?

Are you that focused, or is it that your profile criteria is a little woollier and less defined?

Maybe that lack of clarity is causing you to waste your precious and finite effort and time on prospects you really should ditch?

Prospects, that if you really knew who you wanted to do business with, wouldn’t even get on your call list…

Getting Picky with Prospects

What are your idea search criteria?

Many sales people will already automatically screen for geography and sector, but real clarity comes at a much deeper level than that…

Some of you might even go as far as turnover, company size, years trading, legal status…and this goes some way

But, what else could you use to profile your prospects?

Remember you’re thinking about your perfect prospect here, think about who would make it on to the list and who would get an auto reject from that list (because it’s often easier to articulate what we don’t want as opposed to what we do want)

Obviously many of the criteria will depend on your sector…but consider this list a starting point…

Potential Perfect Prospect Profiling Criteria

  • Credit score rating
  • Job title/specific job function exists ( no point selling to the Head of Marketing if your current firm don’t have a marketing function!)
  • Number of customers
  • Number of offices
  • Domestic/International
  • Owner/ Manager/Board run
  • Number of employees
  • Product/service provider
  • Niches they operate within
  • Profile of employees
  • Growth path
  • Turnover and profit trends
  • Age of business
  • Current competitive users of your type of service / kit type
  • New recruit in place for your key decision maker / recent personnel changes
  • PR, Marketing, Social activity, blogs, adverts, expos attended
  • Deadline driven industry
  • Pending legislative changes
  • Culture in the business
  • Position within their competitive sectors
  • Membership of trade bodies, associations
  • Level of ambition
  • Supply chain / distribution model
  • Awareness level / ready
  • Tech savvy

There are many questions you can ask yourself…

You’ll most typically have two or 3 perfect prospect profiles depending on your business, your products /services

You Should Also Consider:

What’s the value balance?

For a potential prospect to be deemed as being perfect or near perfect there should be some balance in the exchange of value…

Your perfect profile should get value from using your products services at an agreed multiplier…else why else would they engage your solution, and why would they use you over and above your competitors…?

But on the other hand, you should also get value, not just profit, but value from having them as your customers…for example, consider this, could your perfect prospect be:

  • A raving fan?
  • A great provider of referrals?
  • A gateway account into a bigger network of potential easy to convert business opportunities?
  • A super case study?
  • A test case for moving into another sector or niche?
  • A testimonial to use?
  • Nice to do business with?
  • A potential partner organisation?
  • A learning opportunity?

Value has to work both ways, especially with perfect prospects and it’s worth bearing in mind when you’re thinking about profiling your ideal customer types and buyer personas.

Getting Started

Always the toughest bit but that need not be the case, perhaps the easiest way to start is to take your top 10 perfect or near perfect clients and brainstorm or the reasons you think these clients are so good…

You’ll be surprised what you’ll discover – from they give great feedback, to they’re very flexible to work with, or it feels like a real partnership, they’ve had huge success since working with you to they always pay their invoice ahead of time…

You’ll get the most from this exercise if you involve people who work with these clients across the business from help desk, finance, logistics, sales etc…everyone will have a different perspective on the client…

Don’t forget to ask your clients to…maybe a telephone research or a survey monkey questionnaire – simply asking why they selected you, what they like about working with you and would they recommend you, can give you insights and pathways you’d never thought to consider in terms of profiling your perfect prospect and building your ideal customer profile.

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail – call or email 0779 002 1885 or carol@mortonkyle.com

You can also sign up for our weekly Advanced Business Achiever – free weekly sales and business development tips to help you boost sales performance in your business. Ideas for weekly mini sales training sessions or daily sales huddles. Just hit the link to get your copy.

Happy Selling

Carol

www.mortonkyle.com

p.s. we also cover how to build the ideal customer profile on The Sales Improvement Workshop, join us.

p.p.s. if you’re looking for a B2B sales program to embed in your own business, a sales development program that supports continuous sales improvement and covers how to build your perfect prospect profile and capitalise on your ideal customer profile – check our TurboCharged Sales