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It's the common sales paradox. It's a numbers game, right? If I see more people, I can't help but make more sales?

Maybe. Maybe not. For some salespeople, seeing more prospects might actually lead to fewer sales.

Before you dismiss this thought, consider this.

Without a doubt, prospects are the natural resource of the sales process. However, the quality of the prospects and the pattern of interaction with them after the initial contact will determine if the sales process will lead to closed sales...or closed files (and fewer sales).

What accounts for this difference?

It starts with the salesperson's mindset. Some are of the mindset that "everybody's a prospect." These salespeople jump at the chance to tell their stories to anyone who will listen - voluntarily or otherwise...whether they are interested or not. And that mindset leads to two big problems.

First, the salespeople spend an inordinate amount of time chasing prospects of questionable quality. They are driven by the quest of being able to convince those prospects that their product or service deserves consideration. The more time they are in "chase" mode, the less time they have to develop and close sales. They are so busy chasing those that will never buy that they don't have time to focus on those that might.

Second, during the appointments they schedule, they waste additional time trying to "convince" prospects the merits of their offering. This "convincing" approach (coupled with their "everybody's a prospect philosophy) fails to recognize the difference between a suspect (someone who may be curious about or have casual interest in the product or service) and a prospect (someone who has a recognized need or acknowledged desire for the product or service).

If you want "more prospects" to lead to "more sales," you must first be more selective of the people you target as prospects and with whom you invest your time. Develop a profile of your ideal prospect. Then, be more stringent in qualifying the prospect. Some find that an attitude of "Go for the no" helps them in this area.

When you focus your efforts on quickly identifying and weeding out suspects, and then use a selling process to methodically qualify the remaining prospects, then "more prospects" will lead to more sales.

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