Jeb Blount believes that despite the arrival of the digital age and new internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the same results-producing techniques still work. He believes that because competitors are neglecting them now, they might even work better than before.
Success = A Full Pipeline
The world's best salespeople know that the key to sales success is to keep their pipeline full at all times. The best way to do that is to always be finding new prospects. This is a simple mindset, and it makes a huge difference. Successful prospectors simply keep working until the pipeline is full. And then they work some more. Failure in sales is simple—and empty pipeline caused by a failure to prospect.
The 7 Mindsets of Fanatical Prospectors
Here are the 7 mindsets that Blount has found in his lifetime of studying sales that lead to a full pipeline and an outsized commission check.
- Optimism and Enthusiasm. Successful salespeople never play the victim. They understand every day is another opportunity to do better than the day before. Of course they have bad days, but they get right back up and go at it again.
- Competitiveness. They have the drive to do what it takes to win.
- Confidence. They believe that they are going to win every single time they step up.
- Relentless. The most successful prospectors have an unquenchable thirst for achievement.
- Knowledgeable. They are always trying to gain more knowledge. They welcome coaching as well as a way to get even better.
- Efficiency. Fanatical prospectors work as efficiently as possible. Part of this involves efficiently planning their time.
- Adaptive and Flexible. These prospectors will adopt the best ideas and practices and use them as their own.
The 3 Ps that are holding you back
The 7 components of the mindset of the most successful salespeople sound simple, but why doesn’t everyone just act like that? For most people, Blount says, it's because they are held back by the 3 Ps.
- Procrastination. It’s easy to put things off to tomorrow. Prospecting may seem like something not so urgent, so it’s put off. But in the future, you’ll see the consequences of all those days put off. The greatest salespeople do a little bit of prospecting every single day. And it pays off.
- Perfectionism. The fear of failure is high as a salesperson. Many feel the need to perfect their approach before reaching out. However, the best time to pick up the phone and call prospects is right now.
- Paralysis (from analysis). You could spend a lifetime thinking about all of the scenarios you are likely to face in a sales situation, but that isn’t going to start marking sales. You need to get started and do your best.
Protect the golden hours
Now that we have the right mindset and some things to avoid, it's time to leave off with some practical advice. When you are in sales, there are revenue generating activities, and non-revenue generating activities. Your goal as a salesperson is to do as many sales-generating activities during the Golden Hours as possible.
The golden hours are when you are most likely to get live contact with your prospects. These hours will differ, but for most they will be early in the morning and later between 4 and 6 pm. Therefore, during these times, your schedule should be blocked and you should be prospecting. Now it’s time to get to work.