The Best Way to “Wing It” When Prospecting

BY Kathy Crosett
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Do you have a co-​worker who can speak clearly and to-​the-​point when a prospect asks a question? It’s always impressive to watch a gifted speaker in action. The natural ability to think on our feet and deliver the right information eloquently is a gift few of us have. If you lack this trait, don’t worry. Here’s how you can develop this skill, which is so necessary in sales.

Judith Humphrey, author of Impromptu: Leading in the Moment, says the ability to speak off-​the-​cuff is all about preparing in advance. That’s right. Some of the smooth operators you’ve been admiring aren’t natural born speakers. They’re well-​rehearsed. These folks have likely thought through the week that’s facing them. They know who they will be meeting. They’re anticipating who they may encounter at a client or prospect site.

With the image of your upcoming week in mind, think about how various conversations might go. Will one of your prospects want to know how close you are to releasing your new product? And, maybe one of your clients would appreciate hearing about the new study you read that’s key to their business success.

Planning ahead and rehearsing what you want to say is also the best way to make a good impression at a networking event. Review the attendee list in advance and look for the names of people you may have met before and want to reconnect with. Begin your conversation with an opener like, “I’ve been meaning to get in touch.” People always like to know that someone’s been thinking of them. Then, turn the conversation into a quick touch-​point about how you can help them. This is the time to outline your new service and how you believe a specific feature will help them with their business. Don’t forget to close your conversation by telling your contact you look forward to working together in the future.

When you take this approach, you’ll come across as a thoughtful and prepared rep. You’ll sound like someone your prospect wants to do business with.