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Greg Nanigian and Associates, Inc. | Braintree, MA,

Sales Process

We talked about Negative Reverse Selling and using strip-lining techniques to get neutral prospects talking about issues with their business and any related pain caused by those issues. Negative Reverse Selling is saying and doing the opposite of what the prospect expects salespeople to do. Strip-lining is giving the prospect more line to swim with, and allows the prospect to keep talking, making it one of the more effective tools in the NRS toolbox. It’s much easier to gather information once you set the prospect into motion, and Negative Reverse Selling is a great way to get the pendulum moving.

Let’s take a look at a scenario where strip-lining can be very effective in getting a negative prospect moving in the right direction. The prospect says to the salesperson...

In our most recent blogs, we’ve been reviewing Negative Reverse Selling and how it is very effective in creating great bonding and rapport with sales prospects. Negative Reverse Selling is a way of saying and doing the opposite of what the prospect expects from a salesperson, disarming them and creating trust with them. One of its more compelling techniques is called strip-lining, a method of using reverse questions to get the prospect talking, and you keep "throwing more line and let them swim". However, you need to do this step right or it could backfire on you. When you do it correctly, prospects feel like they are...

Our most recent blogs have been covering the Dummy Curve. Using the Dummy Curve you would be acting like you are a little "less okay" than the prospect (inside you feel great though). It's disarming and it helps with bonding and rapport to the point where your prospect feels empowered talking to you. When using Dummy Curve techniques the prospect lets down their defense wall. Then it gets very easy to find out if they have pain - a deep seated emotional need that compels them to buy your product or service.

The Dummy Curve works great, however, it’s not just the words you say, but your.,.. 

 

In the past few blogs, we’ve been talking about a very effective sales technique called Reversing. When using reversing the salesperson answer a prospect's question with a question. When done properly it is very disarming and will result in the salesperson gathering more information. When done properly the prospect will feel like the salesperson really cares. The ultimate goal of reversing is to have the prospect quickly feel at ease and reveal their personal pain or reveal they the prospect doesn't have any pain. Remember, no pain equals...

In our most recent blogs, I’ve been talking a lot about using the Sandler Pain Funnel to increase your sales. What I haven’t said yet, is, you should also adapt the Pain Funnel to your own style of selling. The questions used in the funnel are great and will easily help you uncover a prospects pain and quickly lead you down the path to closing a deal. However, if you combine the funnel with the other techniques you learn in the Sandler System, and adapt them all to your personality, your results will likely explode.

Don’t wait to start using the pain funnel. You should implement what you are learning here in your every day sales calls, and be careful to keep your...

Fishing is very popular down in the Florida Keys, and one of the favorite catches for fishermen and tourists, is called the bonefish. Most people fish it for sport rather than food, and there is an art to catching one. If somebody from New England goes down to the Florida Keys to fish for bonefish, that person would probably do what I was at first tempted to do: bait the hook with shrimp, cast out, and wait for a nibble on the line. As soon as that nibble comes, we New Englanders start to reel the fish in, like we do with Cod and Haddock in our cold waters. However, more often than not, the hook...

In our last blog, we put the “Dummy Curve” in to action, showing how being a “dummy” can help you in the sales process. We showed an example, using a young, inexperienced salesperson named Carlos, who had great results when he didn’t know much about what he was selling, terrible results after getting trained on the products, and then good results when he went back to his beginner, or “dummy” stage.

Take a look at what happened to Carlos...

In our most recent blog, we introduced strip-lining as one of our favorite sales techniques under the Negative Reverse Selling umbrella. Remember, Negative Reverse Selling is doing the exact opposite of what your prospect is expecting from a sales person, thus throwing them off guard. Continuing down that negative selling path, let’s take another look at setting a neutral prospect into motion by strip-lining or throwing him or her some more line to swim about before you reel them in.

In our most recent series of blogs, we’ve been reviewing Negative Reverse Selling and how it is very effective in creating great bonding and rapport with sales prospects. Negative Reverse Selling is a way of saying and doing the opposite of what the prospect expects from a salesperson, disarming them and creating trust with them. We’ve also spent the past couple blogs reviewing the very effective NRS sales tool called Strip-lining, where, using a fishing metaphor. you cast your line to the prospect but instead of reeling them right in, you let... 

In the past few blogs we’ve been talking about the highly effective Dummy Curve technique, where playing the dummy pays off big time when it comes to sales. By playing the dummy and disarming your prospect’s concern, you can get them to reveal pain and establish trust with you. In this blog, we will finish up this series on the Dummy Curve with some math.

At a well-known stock brokerage firm in Boston, 44 Rookie Brokers make over 100 calls each per day as tracked by their telephone system. During my first “Prospecting Clinic” for this group, I polled the group of 44 Rookie Brokers.

I asked all to stand who had gotten one or more referrals over the past 30 days. Just about all stood up. Then I continued, “Please remain standing if you’ve gotten five or more referrals over the last 30 days” – most sat down at that question. By the time I asked who had gotten twenty or more, only one person remained standing; only one person was getting one referral or more per weekday!

So, why is it that salespeople are lousy at ...

In our last blog, we talked about how you can have “Beginners Luck” forever, by being a dummy. Well, a clever dummy, much like our favorite detective, Lt. Columbo. If you ever watched the hit TV series, Columbo, you know he was a master at disarming his suspects by looking and acting like he was a dummy. And Columbo always got his killer. You can do the same thing in sales by disarming your prospects when you play the dummy salesperson.

Have you ever experienced beginners luck, where everything seems to go your way the first time you try something new, or do something you haven’t done in a long time? Every shot goes in the hoop, every puck in the net, every pool shot in the side pocket. Wouldn’t it be nice to have beginners luck all the time? The phrase "beginners luck" describes the phenomenon when people who are new to something, and inexplicably outperform so-called “experts.” The question is, why does it happen?

In our past few blogs, we've been talking about the great sales technique called Reversing. Reversing is an approach we use, where we answer questions with questions, designed to disarm the prospect and create trust. If trust is established, you have a much greater chance of uncovering the prospect's pain and gaining a sale. This blog is the last in our series on Reversing, and shows you how to open doors you assumed were already closed.

In our past few blogs we have been digging into the sales technique we call Reversing. Reversing is an effective approach where we answer prospect questions with questions, a technique that typically disarms the prospect and puts them at ease with us. It’s a great way to gain trust and guide the prospect down the path to uncovering his or her pain. Since it is such an effective sales tool, we continue our discussion on using the Reversing process to close more deals.

Last week we shared with you how Reversing is a questioning strategy designed to encourage prospects to reveal and even relive their pain. Reversing may also help you disqualify prospects who don’t have any pain at the current time, so you don’t waste any more time pursuing a prospect that doesn’t need your services. Reversing is quite simply, answering questions with more questions. On average, it takes 3 reverse questions to get a prospect to talk about their pain.

It’s really just a case of knowing what you are doing. If you practice your delivery, you can deliver an effective reverse without upsetting your prospect at all. Reversing is a great way to get a prospect to trust you and reveal their pain. Why? Because reversing goes against the norm. People expect sales professionals to sell, not ask how they feel about things impacting their work and life.

The Sandler Submarine is a powerful sales tool, but like any other vehicle, it needs fuel to keep it going. The Sandler system uses many techniques to help uncover a prospect’s pain, revving up the sales engine and eventually closing more deals. One of these techniques is very simple but also very powerful, and we call it Reversing.

When Dorothy landed in Oz, she wanted to go home and was told by the Munchkins to see the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. “But how do I find the Wizard”, she asked. “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”. “And the best way to start, is at the beginning”. And that holds true for the Sandler System as well. Start at the beginning.

We've been talking about pain a lot in our recent blogs, which leads us naturally to, talking about Sandler's Pain Funnel.  But, I'd like to tell you a quick story first:

It’s 5:30 in the afternoon on a beautiful summer day. Mom hears little five-year-old Jimmy charging up the back porch. He tears open the screen door and roars into the house. He jumps into the kitchen where Mom is busily cooking dinner. Before she can even ask Jimmy if he had fun playing outside, he says, “Hey Mommy, can I have an ice cream cone?”
His mom replies, “You may have ice cream after dinner.” The next afternoon, Mom hears Jimmy running up the steps. He bursts into the kitchen again and asks the same question: “Can I have an ice cream cone?” His mom says, “Jimmy, after dinner, you can have one.”

Transactional Analysis (TA) was developed back in the 1950s by Dr. Eric Berne. Berne developed this break- through approach to human psychology while working with a patient who was an attorney. The two were discussing something the attorney had done, but regretted doing. Berne asked, “Well, why did you do it?” The attorney explained that, although part of him hadn’t wanted to do what he’d done, “…the child inside me compelled me to do it anyways".

In our most recent blog, we discussed using the psychological model DISC, to identify and deal with certain personality types when selling to new prospects. In this blog, we will share a little bit more about how to interact with each personality type, Dominants, Influencers, Steady Relators, and Compliants, which will help you create better bonding and rapport with your prospects.

Uncovering a prospect’s pain is essential to a successful sales process. I’ve been training that fact for years. Why? Because people buy emotionally, so if you can unleash your prospect's emotion, you have a much better chance for success. But how do you do that? How do you uncover a prospect's pain or deep seated emotions without being obvious about it?

If you have been keeping up with our recent blogs, then you learned a bit about our seven part sales system, or as we call it, The Sandler Submarine. But is knowing a good sales system good enough? Could be, but really it comes down to the implementation of that system, if you want to see tangible results. To be successful, you need to stay ahead of your prospect when it comes to knowledge about effective negotiating and selling techniques. Otherwise, you may fall in to the traps of the traditional selling model, and then prospects got you where they want you. They know all your tricks and have a few of their own to take control of the process.

Telling stories is a great teaching tool to use in many fields, especially sales. At one of our recent workshops on pain, a participant from a technology company shared a story about an experience he had at a big-box TV store. This person went in to the store to learn more about flat screen TVs, with no intention of buying. He just wanted more information so he could make an educated decision when it came time to buy a TV, and get the best deal online, not at a store.

In our last blog, “We All Live in the Sandler Submarine”, I talked about the seven steps of the Sandler system and how working through these steps will improve your sales process. Step 3, Pain, Step 4, Budget, and Step 5, Decision, are the qualifying steps in the Sandler system. If your prospect reveals 3 to 5 issues to you that are clearly various levels of pain, they have money budgeted to fix the problems, and they have the authority to make the decision to buy your product or services, then congratulations! You have a qualified prospect.

Want to make more money and have more fun in your sales position? Easy, just master the art of identifying your prospect’s pain. To do this, you need to have a methodology or a sales system. That’s where the proven Sandler Sales System comes in to play for you. Not easy, but very manageable.

So you’ve been establishing and building rapport with your prospects and now its time move deeper into the sales process and uncover their pain. But how do you do it smoothly without alarming your prospect?


One way to get a good conversation rolling after you’ve built rapport, bonded, and had a meaningful discussion about goals and problems is to ask prospects directly, “What is the impact of this situation on your company?”

 

As you learn the Sandler Sales System, you’ll acquire a number of powerful techniques to establish an authentic conversation about the prospect’s pain along with tools to sustain that conversation. When you assimilate these techniques into your work, you will close more sales. More on that later, but for now, let’s master and use those techniques and create a crystal-clear picture of what pain is (and isn’t) in the professional sales process. This is important because, unfortunately, most salespeople have no practical understanding of what a prospect’s pain is. Furthermore, many salespeople have no idea why pain is the most important element to having successful sales calls and sales cycles, whether you are in a one-call close or a 12-month selling cycle.

Most salespeople rely on their product or service to sell their prospect, using features and benefits to persuade them into buying. This typically means the person is giving away free consulting and lots of time and effort in hopes of getting that elusive “YES”, when in fact, they mostly get , “Let me think it over” or “We’ll get back to you”, or other non-committal responses and a sale likely never happens.

Think about what’s happening here. Following this traditional approach, the salesperson spends way too much time on the opportunity - and does not get the results he or she desires. This definitely can lead to frustration and reduced motivation.

One of the chief elements to cloing business using the Sandler System is to uncover your prospect’s pain and make them relive it. Most people buy emotionally, so getting your customer to emotionally relive his or her pain is a sure-fire way to get them to buy your product or service to relieve their pain. A couple of great tools to use in identifying your prospects pain is COP, or Costing Out the Problem, and The Pain-O-Meter.

Qualifying Prospects for Higher Success Rates


Identifying and measuring a prospect’s pain early in the sales process is one of the most effective ways to increase sales. So how do we uncover a potential client’s pain without being obvious about what we are doing? You already know and understand why Bonding and Rapport is the first step in the Sandler Sales Process, so now you can take the next step to get a clearer understanding of the challenges and pains your prospects face on a daily basis.

Establish and Maintain Bonding and Rapport
By Greg Nanigian in Sales Process

Before a prospect will share pain, you have to establish some level of bonding and rapport with that person. Why? Most people won’t share sensitive information with you unless they like and trust you first.  The Bonding & Rapport Step is the first of the Sandler Sales system described in this book. There are seven steps to this process, but none of them will work if you don’t take care of business here in the Bonding & Rapport Step. In fact, you should maintain bonding and rapport through the sales process and beyond. So let’s focus on it first.

An important, but often overlooked, principle in sales is "follow through."

To start a productive discussion about pain — after you’ve built rapport, bonded, and had a meaningful conversation about goals and problems — ask: “What is the impact of this situation on your company?”

Pain is the gap between where you are and where you want to be. When that gap gets big enough, it can emotionally compel people to take action and make a purchase.

Many salespeople believe that presenting features and benefits is an effective way to sell. It’s completely ineffective.

A testimonial by the president of a leading New England advertising agency.

To uncover pain in the sales process, you must first establish bonding and rapport. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a communications and behavior model developed in the 1960's, and it has grown in popularity and impact since.

Our weekly live, interactive Teleclass conference calls deliver provide effective sales training in digestible quantities and formats. Listen to Greg Nanigian help a client challenged with moving a prospect forward one week and then her results a week later.

No sales system will work if you don’t establish some level of bonding and rapport so that the individual will feel safe enough to share sensitive information -- and their pain -- with you.

An in-depth understanding of the Principle of Pain— “the gap between where you are now and where you want to be”— can not only help you to sell better but become more effective at buying.

Traditionally, salespeople rely on their product’s or service’s features and benefits to do most of the selling. Even if the salesperson offers lots of free consulting and invests lots of time, effort, and energy in the relationship, they usually get a noncommittal response like, “We’ll think it over” or “We’ll let you know”?

Sales professionals may be used to thinking about “pain” as a physical sensation. However, sales pros must expand their understanding of the term to align with that of Sandler Training’s founder, David Sandler.

Are you a salesperson who has been hearing too many of these statements: “We’ll think it over,” “Get back to me,” and “We’ll let you know”? If so, you’re in good company. I want to help you to fix that problem.

David Sandler’s search for knowledge about why and how people buy coincided with the Transactional Analysis (TA) movement in psychology. TA theory defines three ego states that influence our behavior—the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Think of these ego states as internal tape recorders where childhood impressions—teachings and associated feelings—are stored.

It’s been over thirty years since David Sandler introduced the concept of “pain” as the core element of a selling methodology—the Sandler Selling System®. Pain represented the prospect’s collective reasons to buy a product or service. Sandler chose the term not only for its connotation physical discomfort, emotional distress, or something troublesome—but also for its relationship to one’s motivation to take action. Psychologists note that people take action to either seek pleasure or avoid pain. Of the two, they suggest that avoiding pain is the bigger motivator.

Have you been tempted to offer discounted prices or fees in an attempt to win the business? Have prospects asked for discounts, promising to give you the business if the discounts are granted?

Almost all salespeople will agree that the shorter the selling cycle, the better. Why?

If a salesperson had a process that was so good that every time they talked to a prospect on the phone they got a decision, then it would be easier for them to make more calls; they’d have more appointments; they’d accelerate their sell cycle; they’d close more deals; they’d make more money; they could have more time off; they’d certainly be happier being in sales and they’d be more efficient! Being more efficient means having a system for making phone calls. So, I’m going to share the one people pay thousands of dollars to hear about in our training.

By using the reversing technique of answering a prospect’s question with another question, you encourage the prospect to tell you more. And, getting the prospect to tell more is the key to getting beneath surface pain to real pain, the pain that will lead to a sale. Let the prospect do the talking, and use reverses to keep information coming.

Salespeople recognize that establishing rapport with a prospect is an essential ingredient for developing a meaningful business relationship. There is an abundance of information available about how to develop rapport. The information covers everything from what to say, the tone of voice to use, and the posture and facial expressions to exhibit, to how to recognize and appropriately respond to various personality styles.

Selling to groups and committees can result in landing an ideal client when done right! On the other hand, most salespeople were never trained on any approaches, techniques or processes to effectively sell to groups and committees. As a result they simply arrive and start talking – just like the rest of the vendors.

Sales is a profession where, on a daily basis, we deal with adversity or it “deals with us”. A salesperson’s role is always about making changes. Yet Sales can be extremely rewarding, profitable and gratifying, but that does depend on how well the salesperson deals with the adversities of sales. So, here are a few suggestions on how to alleviate, deal with or eliminate the stresses that can be caused by the adversities of sales.

We’ve been working with a major provider in the jet service industry. A couple of the sales managers shared a common problem with me the other day. They told me that, from time to time, they get very busy. Shortly after those peak times, there is a huge lull in sales. Upon investigation, I found out that the sales people don’t make any recontact calls during those times and that’s a big reason for the lull that follows the peaks. So, here are my solutions to keep you on track and from “falling off the cliff” after a peak in sales. If you do these things, you will actually create higher peaks and not so low valleys!

You’re meeting with a prospect. You’ve asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect’s problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analyzing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, “No problem. I have exactly what you need." Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, “Thank goodness,” and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm’s version of the story, but not in the real world.

Too many times, during my nearly 17 years of sales and sales management training, I've seen compensation plans that actually pay a salesperson NOT to sell! What the employer needs is the right blend of base, draw and commission for the job. One that will attract the right person, but not pay him or her so much that you as the owner come out the loser.

While people can change and grow in skills, they tend to be uncomfortable with both. So, what do you do about helping people to work through the discomfort that comes with change for personal growth and skills development? Here are four steps that can help you, whether you are introducing a new training program, application software, company policy or compensation plan.

Selling is what takes place when you lead the prospect through a step-by-step process, each step of which may lead to the prospect’s disqualification and removal from the process. If you do not disqualify the prospect opportunity, the sale moves forward and eventually culminates in the prospect making a buying decision. 

Has this ever happened to you? A seemingly “hot prospect” asks you a question that seems to signal interest in working with you. So you answer the question – at length. Your contact nods and smiles. Then, for some mysterious reason, your “hot prospect” disengages. What happened? What did you do wrong?

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve had a series of great discussions with a prospect, taken lots of great notes, and you’ve developed the proverbial “killer presentation.” You’ve started to deliver that presentation, and you’ve gotten all kinds of positive signals from the prospect: encouraging body language, words of approval, that kind of thing.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in discussion with a prospect about the possibility of working together. The meeting is going well. You’re working your way all through the questions you know you’re supposed to ask at this stage. One of the questions you ask strikes a nerve with the person to whom you’re talking. Suddenly the floodgates open. 

The traditional salesperson’s instinct is to go after a sale at any cost. Keep trying, keep pushing, and you may get lucky. Or, you may waste your time on an unqualified, disinterested prospect; time you could be spending with real prospects. Sandler trained salespeople aren’t afraid to close the file on a sale that isn’t working.

Have you ever had a series of good meetings with a prospect … gathered all kinds of information … and given what you thought was a great presentation … only to receive a response like, “Let me think about it”? Or, “I have to share all of this with my boss”? Or, “We’ll get back to you”? And then you never heard another word? You landed in sales limbo!

Have you ever interviewed for a position that never turned into a job offer? The majority of us have experienced this at least once in our career. At the interview or interviews, we did everything right. So why weren't we hired?

Have you ever given a presentation to a prospect who seemed to be showing you nothing but “green lights” … until you came to the final page of your proposal? As a general rule, that’s the page with the price. And for some strange reason, when the prospect saw your price on that final page, all those green lights turned red. 

Selling can be frustrating and discouraging. But in fact, it doesn’t have to be. With education, practice, and persistence, it becomes a wealth of income opportunity.

If you ask most salespeople what they do, they would most likely describe the solutions—products and services—they provide for their customers. What’s wrong with that?

When used at the wrong time, your product knowledge and expertise can be intimidating to your prospects. If you use buzzwords, technical terms, or industry jargon early in the selling process, before determining if your prospects are familiar with those terms, you run the risk of making your prospects uncomfortable. At that point, they have two choices.

Have you ever seen a prospect’s eyes glaze over? Most professional salespeople have had this experience. Maybe you have, too. Any time a sales discussion starts out strong, and then dies the moment you move out of the “meet and greet” phase, there’s a very good chance you have lost the sale to your own preconceived notions.

This rule is one of the cornerstones of the Sandler Selling System. The traditional approach to selling is to appeal to the intellectual side of the prospect. Selling features and benefits is the best example of this kind of selling. You think that by explaining the great features of your product and how it would benefit your prospect, you’ll have success. 

A fearful animal will sometimes bite in self-defence. A fearful prospect can react the same way, biting you with words and attitude. One of the strengths of the Sandler up-front contract (UFC) strategy is that it provides the prospect with information about what will happen during each interaction with the salesperson, disarming the natural fear, and sometimes dislike, that prospects feel toward salespeople.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems engaged and positively disposed to work with you. The prospect poses an innocent-sounding question, “Say, how big is your company?” 

Has this ever happened to you? During an initial discussion with a prospect, you make it a point to review your pricing information. You put everything right out on the table. The prospect tells you the price you mention “looks fine” (or is “OK,” or “seems fair,” or is “in the ballpark,” or any similar piece of vagueness).

Look for the silver lining. Hope for the best. Look on the bright side. These are good motivational one-liners. They are not good strategies for developing selling opportunities. While hoping for the best is admirable, identifying and planning for the worst case will better prepare you to develop and close more opportunities… more quickly.

Does that mean that you should charge your prospect for a presentation? Yes…and no. While it may not be appropriate to ask your prospect to pay you money for the privilege of viewing your presentation or demonstration, it is appropriate to ask your prospect to pay you with a decision. 

Has this ever happened to you? You're in the middle of a discussion with a prospect, and suddenly you're caught flat-footed by what seems like an attack.

How many times has this happened to you? You got a promising referral, or scheduled a conference call, or showed up at an initial meeting with someone who seemed like a perfect fit for your product, service, or solution. 

There is nothing wrong in pursuing “big” sales opportunities as long as it is not at the expense of other opportunities. But, some salespeople develop tunnel vision. They are so focused on finding and developing the big deal that they lose sight of other opportunities before them—the smaller size (and often more plentiful) sales. 

Bill was contacted by the CFO of a company whose employee benefits insurance business he had pursued for three years. The CFO said he was eager to see what Bill’s company could provide and requested a quote ASAP. 

Jay works for a well known financial institution—one of the troubled firms that has recently been in the news. Jay is no novice to the investment world. However, he has been with the firm for less than two years. Around the office, he is still one of the “new kids on the block.” So, how is Jay doing in today’s rather turbulent economy? 

When it's an apples-to-apples comparison between your product or service and your competitor's, who gets the business? Does the prospect award the sale to the company with the “best” selling process? Do they reward the salesperson who asked the most thought-provoking questions, most cleverly handled objections, and methodically progressed through the development process in a recognizable step-by-step manner? Of course not.

During the best of times, we salespeople can become sloppy - and still do quite well. Eventually, however, the tide will turn. And the behaviors that would have prevented our income from plummeting will no longer be second nature to us. We will have to work hard to make them second nature all over again ... if we plan to make our way back to the ''best of times."

Luck has been described as being in the right place at the right time. But, there’s a catch: you also have to know what you want. Otherwise, you might be in the right place at the right time…and never even know it!

One way salespeople get themselves in trouble is by rushing to answer a prospect’s question… before they uncover the intent that’s driving that question. The question you hear is probably not the “real” question, and the intent behind that question is far more important than the surface meaning of the words.

How good would you say you are at listening to your prospect? Most salespeople we talk to rate themselves pretty highly in this area. Yet most, sad to say, fail the Tooth Fairy Test.

The question is a bit of a puzzle. Ideally, there would be a reference book that lists, by industry, how much time you should invest in prospecting activities. Unfortunately, there’s no reference book. Why? How much time you invest will depend on the number of prospecting activities you plan, the nature of the activities, and the intended results of the activities.