How to Find More Sales Opportunities (without Cold Calling)

The two biggest problems for most companies right now, in this economy, are delayed closings and not enough new opportunities.  I’ve tackled delayed closings, so today, with a little help from my friends, I’ll tackle not enough new opportunities.  I mentioned in my last post that (most of) you need three times more opportunities than ever before to make up for the late stage opportunities that aren’t closing right now.

Rick Roberge, The Rainmaker Maker (did you ever click the link up top to read the Rainmaker Maker Blog?) was my guest on the most recent episode of Meet the Sales Experts.  Rick has had quite the sales career and your salespeople will find this show quite helpful.

Here are some of the highlights from my interview:

Rick talked at length about several additional ways to find new opportunities but stressed that they are all supplements – not replacements – for cold calling. Among them he included:

* Blog
* Hang out where they hang out
* From people who will say nice things about you or your company
* Someone else’s customers
* Orphan accounts
* Centers of Influence
* Networking

Speaking of Networking, Rick’s shared his Secrets to Successful Networking. He said the biggest mistake salespeople make is that they do not follow up!  He said it is not part of their plan and he gave this formula for Networking Success – 2x2x48.  Listen to the show to hear what that means!

Rick discussed the lessons he learned about rejection from his early days in sales.  You see, the biggest obstacle he had to overcome was his shyness and since he still battles that problem to this day, he not only knows how to get around it, he shared it on the show.

Rick’s view of successful selling boils down to this point: “It’s not ever about you, your company, or the owner.  It’s what your prospect needs.  Until salespeople make it all about the customer, nothing happens.”

Rick also shared his Rule of Low Hanging Fruit, his Magic Sales Lesson and his concept of Clique Selling, which he learned about in B2C sales but he says still applies to B2B sales.

So while a major emphasis in sales development is to make salespeople more effective on the phone, there are other things you can have your salespeople doing to find more opportunities today.