by Will Rotondi
Spending 4 quiet hours up in a tree will give you a lot of time for reflection. No, it wasn’t a spiritual retreat (at least for me); it was my first experience tagging along for a deer hunt. You may already know that under such circumstances, there’s never a guarantee that deer will show – and, even if they do, there’s no guarantee that they won’t get spooked before you can take a shot. For those who love venison, though, the reward for success is high, with plenty of meat to go around.
You might be hoping for a similar outcome in your sales: that one “big buck” that’ll come along and feed your pockets the next few months, maybe even secure your quota for the quarter. This is particularly true when what you offer isn’t just your everyday (or every year) kind of purchase.
But you know that in order to get there, it’s not just a numbers game. It’s a waiting game. And not all of us are cut out for that.
When you wait, you have a lot of time to doubt yourself. You won’t be absolutely sure whether you’re doing it right until you get someone on a phone call, but there are some ways to make sure that you’re at least up in the right tree:
Know your audience. A deer hunter doesn’t care if they spot a turkey. Likewise, you wouldn’t focus on the retail industry if your ideal prospect is a manufacturer.
Give your prospects an incentive. Deer love corn. Your prospects thrive on education.
Put in a little prospecting each day. You won’t nab that buck just because you think this Saturday is the day. Likewise, a single email to your ideal prospects isn’t always enough to get them to respond. You have to try multiple times, on multiple days, to see that return.
Some weeks will be silent. Dead silent. Hunters who don’t see a single deer. Prospectors who don’t get a single email response. Don’t worry if you have a week where that happens. If that silence persists beyond a week, though, it’s time to reevaluate your methods.
Use the tools at your disposal. Bows and arrows have been perfected over the years. So has prospecting automation. Use them, but remember: tools don’t run the show. They help you get the desired result, but you have to be the one to operate them.
Know when it’s time to prospect. Deer are active early in the morning, which means you have to be out and ready for them even earlier. The same is the case for your email readers. They may only have the time at 9 AM to read their messages – so send yours at 8:30.