The vast majority of those in sales hate to prospect. The very thought it makes them uncomfortable and apprehensive. And of course, as prospecting tasks go, the very worst element of prospecting, that which makes even the most experienced sales person’s skin crawl is the much-dreaded telephone cold call.
For factoring brokers and consultants, developing and honing your prospecting skills, however, is an absolute necessity if you intend to succeed in today’s challenging commercial finance arena. And, you should also understand, the monetary rewards for developing the skill to develop and qualify leads and subsequently closing deals is so great, that to disregard and not embrace prospecting as a key to your success is, at a minimum, self-defeating. You must accept it as part of your daily routine and let it go at that. Simply put, you don’t have to like it…but you do have to do it. End of story.
Too many of those in sales confuse selling, marketing and prospecting and use the terms interchangeably. But if sales can be compared to actually catching a fish and marketing is the various methods you use to gather the fish around your boat, then what is prospecting?
In its dictionary definition, prospecting is often defined as “the act of searching for something of value”. For your purposes as a commercial finance consultant or factoring broker, prospecting is simply the process of determining who is likely to need your services. In other words, now that we have all the fish around the boat, how do you determine which are most qualified to swallow the hook. And of course in sales, time is money. Suspects / targets that waste your time should be quickly discarded. Efficient prospecting and qualifying will help you separate those that deserve your further attention from those that must be quickly cast aside.
Prospecting is perpetual. For success as a broker / consultant, you must never stop prospecting. Even if you have a good week or month and land several new accounts, don’t abandon your prospecting efforts. One of the biggest mistakes made by those in sales is that they convince themselves that they don’t really need to prospect on a regular basis. And as they soon learn, it is simply amazing how quickly business can fall off when you become complacent about prospecting.