Prospecting is the main ingredient for sales success.
Keeping your funnel full not only ensures you’re doing product demos on a regular basis, it also gives you options when some of those deals inevitably fall through. If there’s one aspect of sales that reps should never ignore, it’s prospecting.
But in a cruel twist of fate, prospecting is also the one task most reps find extremely tedious (except for updating Salesforce, that is). And since prospecting is so demanding, and requires prolonged commitment every single day, many reps grow to dread the grind of outreach, and get burned out on the profession due to the mental demands of reaching out into the ether, being rejected, or receiving wishy-washy responses from potential prospects.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make prospecting something that you actually look forward to every day. While it might take some recharging from time to time, making yourself appreciate the daily task of prospecting can make all the difference in an otherwise stressful and demanding role, and make hitting your quota significantly easier, month in, month out.
Here are five ways to make yourself fall in love with prospecting:
1. Get yourself pumped up before you start
If you want to make your prospecting experience an enjoyable one, you need to get yourself into the right mindset.
Before sitting down to dial or compose emails, get yourself pumped up, whether it’s by doing some jumping jacks to get your heart racing, listening to some music that you know will give you energy, or drinking a cup of coffee if that’s what gets you going.
By getting yourself in the right mind state beforehand, you give yourself an opportunity to make the task of prospecting an enjoyable one. And before long, you might even look forward to it.
2. Reward yourself
We’re all more likely to do things if there is a reward tied to their completion. While there is a long-term, or, at least longer-term reward tied to prospecting in the form of a big commission check, short-term rewards can be a great way to get quick satisfaction for our activities.
The type of reward you choose will depend on what it is that you’re motivated by — some people might reward themselves with a sweet treat, while others might give themselves permission to spend half an hour on twitter or scrolling their favorite website. No matter which reward you choose, make sure you tie it back directly to the task of prospecting, and make sure you don’t reward yourself unless you’ve completed what you set out to do.
3. Try to gamify the experience
Gamification is frequently used in software to reward certain behaviors, and there’s no reason why it can’t be used to accomplish more prospecting tasks. Of course, you’ll need to gamify the experience yourself, figuring out exactly which actions you want to prioritize, and creating different reward tiers (see above).
By turning your prospecting activities into a game, you’ll help make it a more enjoyable experience, and will help your brain associate it with something positive, rather than something you feel like you’re being forced to do.
4. Sell a product you truly believe in
This, above all, is perhaps the most impactful decision you can make when choosing a company to sell for.
While some people are able to feign their enthusiasm for a product, most of us can’t truly get excited about something we sell unless we’re fully bought in. When it comes to prospecting, if you truly believe that your product or service is a valuable one and can help solve people’s problems, then you’ll be well positioned to enjoy the act of prospecting, since it will give you an opportunity to get the word out.
Whenever possible, try to sell something you believe in, even if it comes with a smaller paycheck than the alternative.
5. Envision your ideal outcome
At the end of the day, the key to a successful career, and to truly committing and enjoying the things we do every single day, is to tie our dreams and ideal outcomes back to our activities.
Maybe your driving force is owning a cabin on a lake where you can go fishing every weekend. Or maybe it’s your children’s futures, and providing them with a home and lifestyle that you never got to experience yourself.
No matter what your “ideal” outcome (and it can vary a lot from person to person), the trick is to tie it back to your daily activities, and to picture it when the going gets tough. If you’re able to do this consistently, and are able to really imagine your dreams coming true as you’re doing the work, you’ll not only see your level of motivation and effort go up, you’ll also start to really care about what you’re doing.
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