Written By Henry Haugland - One of the most profound changes that the web has had on selling has been to make it trivially easy to acquire information and insights that will improve our sales and sales management skills.
I have been selling or managing the sale of big ticket B2B products and services for nearly five decades and make it a point to try and read at least one book per month on selling and improving sales and sales management skills. I often find that my experience leads me to have views that are contrary to each author’s ideas but almost never am I in disagreement with all of them. I have found that when I find an area of disagreement that thinking the issue through often leads to new insights. Sometimes I change my mind and adopt the author’s notion.
I am a huge fan of Jill Konrath. In a recent blog she referenced the book Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling by Jeb Blount. I downloaded a Kindle version of Fanatical Prospecting which now is on my laptop, iPad, and phone. I have read it three times looking for areas in which my experiences and Jeb’s suggestions were disconnected. I couldn’t find any.
New sales are hard in all markets but in big ticket B2B closing a new account is the toughest sales and marketing challenge imaginable because getting the initial conversation started is so difficult. Getting this conversation started is what Fanatical Prospecting is all about.
Jeb accurately describes that there is no easy way. You can post on blogs, knock yourself out on LinkedIn and Tweet to your hearts content and you will fail to achieve your sales goals. The 20% of sales reps who generate 80% of the revenue are fanatical about prospecting. Jeb helps you develop a process that works for you.
The 5-Step Telephone Prospecting Framework gives you the power to cut right through resistance and objections. Learn how to double your call backs with a simple but powerful voice mail technique and develop the confidence to quickly bypass objections, brush-offs, and reflexive responses by employing an effective 3-step turn-around technique. Fanatical Prospecting also includes winning techniques for creating persuasive, compelling e-mails and text messages that turn prospects into customers.
The key advantage of having decades of selling and sales management experience is that I can legitimately claim to have made tons and tons of mistakes. Had a copy of Fanatical Prospecting been available when I started my sales career my effectiveness would have been supercharged. I would have owned a large chunk of the world by now. Alas, I had to make do and learn the hard way but you can read Jeb’s book and save yourself years of effort.
Fanatical Prospecting is a must read.