The #1 Problem of Sales is Prospecting w/ Mark Hunter [Episode 128]

Mark Hunter is known as The Sales Hunter. He is one of the greatest names in sales, speaking, and sales training. He has authored the book, High Profit Selling, and he has another new book, High Profit Prospecting, coming out soon. Mark and I chat about the #1 problem in sales, which is prospecting.

What is the #1 problem when it comes to sales?

PROSPECTING!!! This is the most fundamental sales requirement, which is still the most problematic of the selling process in most companies. The job of a sales person is to help potential clients see and achieve things that they think are possible.

Why is prospecting the #1 issue?

Sales people have a hard time finding prospects. Closure rates are bad because potential customers are dealing with sales people they should not have to deal with. It’s the speed of the sale. Companies are hung up by not qualifying the prospect effectively and efficiently. The people out there generating the leads are getting paid on the number of leads they develop, not on the quality of those leads. This in turn is passing along junk to the sales reps. Leads need to be qualified better and faster.

Where does the responsibility lie when qualifying prospects?

Just because you can get a meeting it doesn’t mean anything! You don’t want to set up a meeting merely for the sake of setting up a meeting. You need to uncover a need, benefits and the outcome. The most valuable asset an organization has is their people’s time. Make sure every moment of the day is productive time spent by each employee. Social media is great; however, it doesn’t put food on the table unless you monetize it. SDRs should be conducting some of the initial qualifications. If the SDR isn’t qualified enough to do that, then maybe we should just get a robot to do the job. SDRs need to ask and understand the context of the answers.

What is one of the biggest challenges with prospecting?

This is not a game of getting more prospects this is a game about getting better prospects. Mark wants to be spending more time with fewer prospects that can close quickly. Some sales people have put numbers into their pipeline just to keep their bosses happy. These prospects aren’t going anywhere; quality over quantity is of utmost importance. When dealing with sales managers, if a lead doesn’t move up or down after two sales calls, they should not be in your pipeline – period! You don’t want to hold on to static people.

How do you create a marriage between social media and traditional prospecting?

There are too many people out there that say, if you do social media well enough, everything will be OK. Social media helps you create the awareness and a presence. It is the advertising and marketing. But it isn’t the sales, you still have to make the phone calls, send the emails…email is not the only prospecting tool out there. PICK UP THE PHONE!

What is one of the reasons prospecting is failing?

Don’t start something you can’t finish. You have to have a plan that requires repetition. Mark uses the 6MPM approach. He will leave 6 messages per month by email, phone, text, and social media. Each one of these messages is unique. If he doesn’t hear back from them within that month, Mark will take the prospect off the list for 90 days. He will repeat the process using the same as above. Mark wants to hit the prospect with information they will find creditable and worthy. He wants to peak their interest. You don’t want to feel like you have a competitor out there, because there is only one of you!

What are some of the tools and technologies out there to assist in prospecting?

PICK UP THE PHONE! There are many automated tools out there, however, you don’t want to become automated either. What happens if the prospect responds? You won’t have a clue to who they are because you were using automation. The best way of contacting anyone is through picking up the phone. At the same time, you can also combine this with using direct messaging on social media.

Learn More About Mark Hunter:

What is your most effective tool, other than the phone, that you are using in your own prospecting?

LinkedIn

Is cold calling dead?

Yes, cold calling is dead. There is no reason you can’t make an informed call. Do your research before making your phone call.

Besides your book that is coming out shortly about prospecting, what’s one other book about prospecting that sales people should read?

Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount & Mike Weinberg

What’s an idea mix for inbound vs outbound lead gen?

Every industry is different. If he is having to educate the person, he is going to be more outbound focused.