There are markets and situations where there are simply not enough people to buy, when we need to sell. There are no sales “leads” as that term is normally used.
If you sell something (much) better, new, disruptive, innovative, more complex, more simple, or more expensive, you’re in a market with no leads. There are just prospects, or more specifically, Target Prospects. And this is not just a naming difference. A Target Prospect is a company and / or person or people who you believe you could provide significant value to, but they are not looking for you today; the buying signals are at zero. But, they are the best and often ideal clients, who can provide the most profitable business, because they will appreciate the value you provide. The business you really want – and need – may simply not come in the form of a lead. It’s a Target Prospect you really need.
The implication for B2B salespeople is profound: your job is not to “sell”; that’s going to be the easy part. Your first and toughest job is to bring people into the market. It’s a form of leadership, where the prospect decides to follow the salesperson.
The business you really want – and need – may simply not come in the form of a lead. a Target Prospect IS WHAT you really need.
In practice, it means you have to be skilled at the following:
1 Defining, locating and connecting with ideal Target Prospects. This requires a very high level of prospecting skill, way beyond “cold calling” and following up on leads.
2 Your ability to open is far more important than your ability to close. The ideal Target Prospect makes a decision right at the start to stick with the conversation, because they have heard something of value that is better, more powerful and of greater value than they heard before. Closing is merely a good problem at that point.
This is called Opportunity creation (as opposed to finding an opportunity) i.e. given the right raw material, you can create an opportunity. This means your market is much bigger than a market that depends on leads.
The implication for B2B salespeople is profound: your job is not to “sell”; that’s going to be the easy part. Your first and toughest job is to bring people into the market. It’s leadership.
If you can create opportunities out of good raw material (Target Prospects), you have a lot of scope to create profitable business with customers that want to stick with you.