If you want to be the worst salesperson that you possibly can be. If you want to make winning new business and retaining existing business more challenging. If you want to be forced to work with difficult clients and on projects that you’d rather not work on. And if you want to have to discount because it’s the only way to win business… then you need to know how to be a complete failure at prospecting and lead generation.
If you don’t do any or enough prospecting and if you are hopeless at lead generation then you can guarantee that you’re going to end up at the bottom of the pile. You can guarantee that you’re going to struggle to pay the bills. And you can guarantee that your career will be precarious…
If this appeals to you, here’s how to suck at prospecting and lead generation in 5 simple steps…
1) Adopt a scatter gun approach.
To be supremely unsuccessful at prospecting and lead generation you have to avoid any semblance of a plan when it comes to approaching prospects. Under no circumstances should you spend any time thinking about who your perfect client is. You should not take the time to understand what they want, what they need, what problems they face or what desires they have. You must not think about how to find them, how to reach them, how to engage them or how to add value for them.
Instead, you should just pick the phone up and call the first person who comes into your head, go to random networking events, pay for whatever advertising opportunities come through the door and offer to work with anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest in you and your company, no matter how inappropriate they are for your business and no matter how bad a fit your product or solution is. Come on Rodney, this time next year you can guarantee that you’re not a millionaire!
2) Be a one-trick pony.
If you want to fail supremely at prospecting and lead generation then you should rely on one approach to the detriment of all others. Decide to only attend networking events, rely solely on advertising, commit to growing your business on Facebook alone or become a cold calling aficionado. Ignore all of the other ways of winning business and make sure that you leave plenty of opportunities on the table.
You must leave yourself at the risk of changing markets and economies and ensure that you have no alternative routes to market and no safety net. Believe the latest hype from speakers and trainers desperate to sell courses, no matter how ludicrous it sounds. Stick to the old to the detriment of the new and throw out what works to follow the latest fads. There are many ways to be a one-trick pony and all of them can help you to become a total sales loser.
3) Be inconsistent and leave prospecting and lead generation for another day.
Many sales and business people are pretty good at this one already but if you want to be a complete failure at prospecting and lead generation then you need to take it to another level. Under no circumstances should you work out what prospecting you need to do to generate the amount of leads that you actually require to be successful in your business. Don’t be tempted to take consistent action, breaking this down into activity plans and taking complimentary actions that will create new leads.
To fail, you need to focus only on short-term, lead generation activities and even then they have to be inconsistent and half-baked. Don’t be tempted to consider long-term lead generation strategies that create leads and opportunities for years to come. These will make being a sales loser very challenging. Very challenging indeed.
4) Be clueless.
One thing prospects really hate is salespeople who boast as their primary qualification a BA in BS. To fail in spectacular style you need to ensure that you develop no expertise in your field. The last thing you want is people coming to you for help, thinking that you may have answers to their problems or believing that you can add value for their businesses. Even worse, if you don’t become a Captain of Clueless you may find your phone ringing and your website dinging with prospects wanting to pay a premium to work with you.
5) Hope for the best.
Hope is the best strategy if you want to fail. Don’t plan, don’t strategize and don’t monitor and measure the success of your activities. Just hope. As you look around you will realise that people who are the best at prospecting and lead generation monitor and measure their activities. They work out what is working and what is not working and they tweak, change and redesign their approaches and their activities to most effectively use their time to be successful.
Far better that you do what you feel like doing, allow your activity to be driven by others and what happens to ping into your email. Make sure that you avoid results-based activities that you don’t like doing. This lackadaisical approach will serve you well in your pursuit of mediocrity and sales oblivion.
So, there you are, 5 top tips to ensure that you are a complete failure at prospecting and lead generation. All the best in your pursuit of sales oblivion. Please don’t be offended if I choose not to meet you on the road to nowhere but, fear not, there will always be plenty of company on that route!