There’s a pivotal scene in the movie “The Matrix” when Morpheus asks Neo if he will take the red pill or the blue pill. If he takes the blue pill, the story ends. But if he takes the red pill, he gets a glimpse outside the “prison of his mind.”
In sales, we’re often shackled by habit and the same ways of thinking about our everyday activities. How we approach prospecting is a prime example.
Prospecting is arguably the toughest step in the sales process today. Competitors in all industries continue to proliferate, making it more and more challenging to stand out. Let alone make a case for a meeting or a proposal.
So revisiting how we prospect can be valuable, leading to a revival of our motivation and pipeline.
One approach is to consider prospecting as if it were a “matrix,” developing a short list of prospects based on the most important considerations when doing business with you or your company. Below is a template:
Each salesperson’s matrix will look slightly different, depending on their culture, product portfolio and style. But the essential exercise remains the same.
Task yourself with categorizing how you do what you do. Where are new categories? Subcategories? When you finish the exercise, you will ideally have 18 — 27 potential prospects with whom you can connect. If you’d like to go deeper into the matrix, you could craft your main talking points for each cell, in which case your matrix would look something like:
Here’s an example of how you might begin a prospecting “matrix” in media sales.
Sometimes it takes the red pill to recharge your enthusiasm and get you to look at things a little differently.