Sales Books

High-Profit Prospecting

Do we need another book on prospecting? As a seasoned (i.e. old) sales professional, I have to admit that’s what I thought when Mark Hunter asked me to review his book, High-Profit Prospecting. But then, I reflected on the prospecting examples that I receive every day as a small business owner, and I realized the sales world is desperately in need of his advice.

Most prospecting books are like diet books: everyone knows generally what’s in them, but they buy new ones anyway because the ones they’ve already read “don’t work”, and maybe this time it will be different—maybe this one will have a new wrinkle or a different approach that will truly work. High-Profit Prospecting passes this test.

The first section of the book, “Basic Truths about Prospecting”, is solid but not particularly different. Hunter counters the myth that social media and the Internet have made prospecting obsolete, and then goes on to anticipate and answer the most common excuses that salespeople use to explain their failure to prospect. If you are already convinced that you need to do more of it and do it better, the first part of the book is preaching to the choir.

While you might be tempted to skip right to the section on tips and techniques, you should definitely make a sincere effort to answer the comprehensive lists of strategic and tactical questions about your process in Part II, “Preparing for Prospecting Success”. Doing so will put you in a much better position to succeed.

Of course, in the end, it still comes down to execution and consistency, and Part III is where the book picks up and delivers valuable insights as well as practical and powerful tips. The overall approach is strong, and Mark’s advice about preparing, organizing and executing a prospecting plan will definitely help salespeople who are at the beginner to intermediate level. But even if you’re advanced (or just old), you can learn a lot from the gems of advice offered throughout the book, because small details can make a big difference in prospecting, where you’re dealing with first impressions. Some examples:

  • Write emails on you smartphone because that’s how most recipients will read them.
  • Call when most people don’t. (This one worked on me recently, because the caller earned my respect by calling on a Friday afternoon.)
  • Call busy executives the first two minutes just before and after the top of the hour, when they are between meetings.
  • When speaking to the gatekeeper, ask for 20 minutes of the executive’s time. Any shorter will make it seem like your offer is unimportant, and a half hour is too long.
  • Eleven rules for leaving a great voice mail should be required reading for every sales professional.

I highly recommend High-Profit Prospecting to any salesperson at any experience level—particularly to anyone who plans on calling on me!

Related Posts
The Challenger Customer
September 30, 2015
Where the Ground Truth Lives
September 5, 2016

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