Prospecting is one of the most necessary evils of sales, but are you doing it correctly?

Failing to prospect can kill a small business, but prospecting in the wrong manner can kill it even faster.

At the end of the day, you have to prospect potential clients in order to grow … this is simply a part of business. However, spending too much time focusing on weak potential typically ends in disaster.

The truth is, you could spend all day every day cold calling and emailing prospects, but if they aren’t interested, they simply aren’t interested. Knowing when to give up is crucial.

Qualifying Prospects is Essential

Prospects having potential must be qualified as such.

How this qualification is met will often depend on your specific industry, but in general, qualified prospects will have a need that your company can fulfill, they will have an interest in making a purchase, and they will be interested in discussing their needs.

This is not to state that certain barriers can’t be broken through the sales process, but if you’re selling industrial refrigeration units and you’re calling hair salons, you’re wasting your time and you won’t be getting qualified leads.

Get Referrals

In the past, sales reps kept Rolodexes in order to keep up with who they have done business with. Today, digital devices and the Internet have made this easier.

In the article, “Sales Prospecting: Earning Presidents and Benjamins Faster,” the author discusses the idea of reaching out to people with whom you’ve done business to receive referrals.

In most cases, businesses and their associated professionals run within the same circles, so it’s more likely than not that someone you know professionally can provide you with prospects that may need your company’s services.

Make Prospecting a Priority

It can be easy to put off prospecting.

In fact, in some cases, sales reps are terrified at the thought of prospecting. They feel that putting themselves out there is risky, both to their professional feelings and their personal feelings. In addition, because many sales reps are commission-based, they feel like they are wasting time by prospecting.

The truth is, however, that proper prospecting is an essential part of making money.

Without reaching out and seeing where the need is, sales reps will not continue to earn additional income or bring new clients onboard.

As such, make prospecting a priority each day, if only for an hour or so.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include sales and marketing.