Topic: Career/Training

Turn A Lead Into A Prospect Without Panicking

Posted by margoklein007 on 125 Points
One of my current assignments has me participating in the sales process. I am not a sales person by experience or by nature. The Sales Director has given us some basic training and understanding of the sales process. He gave us a link to an article with lead generation tools(, (some of which we use) to understand how they fit into the process.

My quandary is that I, choke I guess you would call it, when trying to move a cold lead into a prospect. It's the usual butterfly's, clenched throat thing. Doesn't happen all the time, you know if you connect with a person than the process is easier. But I don't want to sit there gasping (and grasping for ideas) when my mind blanks. Any ideas or tips to get back on track naturally, without sounding like I just turned to page 42 and started reading? Thanks!
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  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Accepted
    Ask the lead to tell you about their problems. Let them talk. If your product/service can help make their lives easier, tell them how it can do that. There's no track/approach if you can't help them and there is a very obvious track/approach if you can. It's probably better to look at it as a playing field rather than a track/no-track situation.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Don't think of the process as selling. Think of it as helping. If your offering can help them with their problem, share the facts. If it can't, tell them that as well. Either way, you'll leave the meeting with their respect, which will serve your company well for the long-haul.
  • Posted by telemoxie on Accepted
    I totally agree that you should think of helping your prospects. one way to think about it, is to use an agricultural analogy.

    Suppose you are raising a crop of corn. There is a period of time when you take very careful care of the corn, Looking out for the best interest of the court in the field, building a fence around it, watering, fertilizing, and pulling weeds. And then there is another day when you take down the fence and look out for the best interest of the farmer, cutting down the corn.

    In many organizations, the sales team is interested in a crop which is mature and ready to pick. They aren't interested in growing the crops, mostly because they are not compensated for that.

    In my opinion, specific roles of marketing as it relates to nurturing and cultivating and qualifying opportunities depends very much on the situation. Are you selling direct, or through resellers? Are your salespeople on straight commission, or do they get some sort of base or guarantee? How long is your sales cycle? How innovative is your product? How unique is your product? How much does your product cost?

    If you would like, I'd be happy to spend a few minutes by phone, no charge. If I can better understand your product and market an organization, I can be much more focused with recommendations. If you click on my username, you can find my email address. Good luck, and take care.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Lots of wisdom from Mike, Jay and telemoxie. Stop trying to SELL and start trying to UNDERSTAND and HELP. ThIs approach will ultimately prove to be more effective as an approach to building a solid relationship and selling. It will also save a lot of time when you identify and qualify good prospects up-front.
  • Posted by Shelley Ryan on Moderator
    Hi Everyone,

    I am closing this question since there hasn't been much recent activity.

    Thanks for participating!


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