I’m gonna be honest with you: A lot of salespeople are bad at prospecting. If that statement stung a little or hit too close to home, I’d like to say I’m sorry. But I’m not.
Every day that you choose not to prospect, you’re delaying your future income. There, I said it. If you aren’t putting in the effort to create and implement an organized prospecting schedule, you are losing. This is non-negotiable.
Here’s the good news, however: creating a schedule is quick and easy. Let’s get down to it.
Prospecting should already be on your calendar as a part of your ideal week. It’s also important to create a more detailed prospecting schedule within those time blocks. We’re going to break it down day-by-day to make sure all your bases are covered.
Let’s start off the week with some new business! Primarily, this means getting in touch with new referrals or leads, but it could also mean following up with any potential clients in your pipeline, but with whom you have not yet had a proposal meeting.
Resist the tendency to get bogged down with all the minutiae of getting back into work after the weekend. Make the focus of today to keep fresh business rolling in.
Set this day aside for working with your power referral partners. While these people are the ones you lean on for the bulk of your new business leads, don’t assume they’re going to keep filling your pipeline with referrals without any engagement from you. You’ve got to reach out and ask for those referrals.
Tuesday is a great day to book coffee or lunch dates with these partners. Stay proactive, and make sure you’re using this time to deepen those vital relationships.
Today is the day to check in on your current clients. First off, make sure they’re happy. Ensure that you’re meeting all their needs, and they’re satisfied with your product or service.
These check-ins are also a great way to look for cross-selling opportunities. For example, say you’re in the insurance business; today would be a great time to look at all your clients who have life insurance and pitch them on long-term care insurance. Keep your eyes open for ways to provide your current clients not only with great service but additional value as well.
Social media is a huge part of our lives these days. Let’s dedicate this day to reaching out via social channels.
Hop on LinkedIn and check out the articles that past clients, prospects, or referral partners are sharing. Comment on them. Re-share them.
Reach out on Facebook and wish a Happy Birthday to those contacts celebrating that week. Like or comment on someone’s Instagram post. Engage and connect.
We wrap up the week by calling past clients. How you approach this is up to you.
You may want to commit to calling five clients every Friday. Or maybe you’ll go alphabetically, starting with all your past clients with last names that begin with “A,” then “B” the next week, and so on.
If you go with this method, you’ll be touching each past client twice per year! Remember this: If you’re not calling your past clients, somebody else is.
Stay Committed to Your Prospecting Schedule
This is what a solid prospecting schedule looks like. See how easy that was?
Any time you add an appointment to your calendar, be sure to consider and protect your prospecting time. If you absolutely can’t make your prospecting time one day, move it or shift it if you must, but don’t ever skip it entirely.
I like to give myself a bit of grace and allow myself to miss each day (of the week) up to four times per year. It’s unavoidable that you’re going to miss some between vacation and holidays and unforeseen issues. But beyond that four times, if you miss, you need to be more aggressive the next week.
Another great way to maintain flexibility while adhering to the schedule is to take advantage of bonus weeks to catch up on missed prospecting days. There are plenty of ways to make it work for you.
At the end of the day, it’s about making prospecting a real priority. If you don’t do that, you might as well be taking money out of your own pocket.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!