Daily newspapers have had to adapt to the many changes technological advancements have brought to us. Fewer and fewer subscribers throughout America step outside each day to pick up their print paper and bring it inside to read with their morning coffee. Thus, many salespeople discount these newsprint pages, and even their online editions, as sources of sales leads, foregoing them for social media platforms; blogs; and other, hipper forms of communication.
In Good Selling!SM:The Basics, Paul H. Green wrote, "Do you actively read the paper with your residual or commission check in mind? Try reading the paper as a business assignment." Green suggested culling the entire paper ‒ the editorial content and the various types of ads and announcements ‒ with your bottom line in mind. This was back in 2004, when daily papers held greater sway in the marketplace. Today, the Internet offers a cornucopia of ways to access information. And Green's advice could apply to almost everything you read – traditional newspapers and so much more.
When you're perusing your favorite news and social sites, are you reading with an eye for potential clients and business partners? It's easy to become distracted with today's constant flow of information, but if you keep your business objectives in mind as you follow where the various notices you receive lead, you're likely to find opportunities you hadn't previously considered. You might also find that keeping your bottom-line interests uppermost in mind will help you decide how long to actually spend reading an article that has grabbed your attention for some reason (perhaps a friend recommended it or the headline was irresistible).
In a November 2015, blog post "ABP – Always Be Prospecting," Dale Freelove, Major Account Executive at Workday, wrote, " Thanks to the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, many people are familiar with the dreaded three letter acronym ABC – always be closing. Although this might have been appropriate in the early 90’s, the skill set required for sales success today is less around the close and more around the open. As such, I propose that we end the era of ABC and replace it with ABP – always be prospecting."
In essence, that is exactly what Green was recommending when he asked if you read the paper with your residual or commission check in mind. When you have an ABP mindset, you will begin to find opportunities everywhere. Then, it's up to you to narrow the field to the most promising prospects and follow through.
When it comes to following through, Anthony Iannarino, author of The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need, advised sales pros to focus on the outcome. "This means that you don’t allow your prospecting to turn into a needs analysis, a presentation or a discussion about the merits of your product or service. It means you apply a laser-like focus on scheduling the appointment." So focus first on spotting opportunities in every form of media at your disposal. Then pick what look like the strongest prospects, and spend time every day – every single day – on reaching out to your potential new customers and partners with a focus on getting your foot in the door.
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