The Tortoise or the Hare?

Show me a good prospector and I’ll show you a good media rep.

When working with and training media sales reps, we always suggest that there are two styles of prospecting… prospecting “hard” and prospecting “smart”.

The question is, which one is better and which type do you want on your team?

I suggest the answer is… both!

Prospect “hard” when you are new and trying to build a base or when billing is struggling and you need to rebuild fast. Prospect “smart” once you’re established and you can focus on finding clients with bigger and better potential. There are positives and negatives to each.

If I were to go into any radio station and ask this one question, “Which rep(s) prospects the hardest on your sales team?”, I would then be able to tell you several other things about them. First and foremost, I want them on my team! I like reps that work hard and aren’t afraid of rejection. It would also tell me who has the most “new clients” on the air at nearly any given time… but, at the same time, it would tell me who has the most cancellations. This is not always true, but most of the time it is.

On the other side of the prospecting coin, the sales rep that prospects the “smartest” usually has a much better closing ratio, larger contracts, more annuals, better relationships with their clients, and therefore fewer cancellations, and, they don’t have to work nearly as hard. But… more often than not, they have fewer prospects in the sales funnel and when they do get that dreaded cancellation, it can hurt.

Prospecting is a little bit like the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. They are both worthy of being in the race, but the one that is always moving and consciously makes prospecting a part of their weekly plan, and never lets up will usually win the race.

Understanding where the sales rep is in their career and their current level of business can most often determine what approach or tactic they should be using.

The moral of the story… ALWAYS be consciously Prospecting!