A sales job is understandably hard. It requires a mindset of hustle led by passion, purpose, and a sense of achievement. Although online sales – or the act of prospecting and procuring business online – isn’t as grueling as an actual sales call, the principles of hustle still apply.
Not everyone can sell and that’s because very few can set themselves rules, apply them to their own success or growth, and operate with 200 meters of light ahead while driving down long, winding, uncertain paths.
Thankfully, you can sell online today. Most of the “hustle” now pivots to the Internet so that takes away plenty of friction points in sales such as commute from one place to the other, long waiting time periods lost in paperwork, uncertainty in meeting clients, etc.
Yet, here are a few everyday prospecting rules you should set for yourself:
Meet your prospecting activity goals
Whether you are self-employed professional left to acquire clients on your own, a small business owner, a sales executive, or a marketing manager, the onus of getting business is on you. Start with the ideal number of “bookings” or “sales” you’ll need each month. Break that number down into daily and weekly goals. Here’s an example:
For simplicity sake, consider the case of a Craig — a freelance copywriter. Let’s assume that every sale (assuming articles or blog posts as the items sold) fetches $20 in revenue for him, and that he’d need $4000 at the end of each month. How many articles should Craig sell each day?
To achieve a monthly goal of $4000, Craig should to sell 10 articles @ $20 each, per day, Monday to Friday.
To sell 10 articles, however, how many prospects should he reach out to on a daily basis?
It’s a whopping 100 people per day. Assuming that only 10% of the prospects convert (which means that they agree to commission Craig to write for them), he’d have to reach out to 100 people each day to get 10 clients.
Of course, Craig can end up getting fixed-price retainer projects, hourly projects, or maybe secure article writing jobs at a much higher rate than $20 per article.
So, depending on what your end goal for the month is (in numbers) and your price per sale (ticket value), you’ll be able to evaluate the number of new prospects you need to reach out each month.
Once you arrive at the number for your business; it’s etched on stone. It’s religion. It’s a rule you can’t break.
Sending out new emails, connecting with potential prospects on social media, watching your email opt-in list grow each day, and receiving inbound calls from strangers asking for your products – all of these are leads that lie right at the top of your sales funnel. These are precious inbound leads.
Yet, no one buys anything on a whim. Your clients or customers will not buy right away. You’ll need to follow-up with each of these leads or prospects until they make their purchase.
Clearly then, follow-ups also take up a chunk of your time each day, apart from finding totally new prospects. While you can certainly semi-automate your follow-up process and make it easier for you, sales and marketing would never work if there wasn’t someone (or something) that works to follow-up with leads or prospects.
Treat every prospect as a closed sale
When sending out emails, scheduling responses to others’ emails, or when you are prospecting in general, don’t treat the process as “one that leads to a sale” or “one that might or might not work out”. Treat it as a closed sale. Consider that every prospect you interact or communicate with is a client already. The tone of your voice (even with written and electronic mode of communication) changes drastically when you interact with a client compared to how you communicate with a cold lead or a prospect.
When you consider the sale as closed, you approach with confidence. You’ll tend to communicate from your heart, and somehow, the friction in communication is lost.
It’s a flow you can’t tinker with
If you noticed, you can’t game the sales process. You can certainly make it better, faster, and more efficient. You can improvise and experiment. You will also have a repository of tools available to help you achieve your sales goals. You still can’t game the process.
The process is always like this:
Prospects >> Follow – up >> Sales >> Deferred Sales >> Closure
Set that golden number up, and dig the process everyday. Use some incredibly awesome tools such as RightInbox to make your job that much easier.
What are your daily prospecting rules?