When you are prospecting, some objections are predictable. “I don’t have time…” is one of them.

The funny thing about this objection is how often I hear it from SALESPEOPLE with respect to finding time to do prospecting work.

Lets not sugar coat this… It is a load of BS!!

I usually hear the objection when I suggest dedicating a small chunk of time a few times a week to prospecting.  The negotiation with the reluctant salesperson usually winds itself down to a suggestion of a dedicated 30 minutes once a week for proactive prospecting. Even this is sometimes seen as completely impossible.

What a load of BS!!

When I get this objection from a salesperson, I often hear things like “it is impossible for me to find time because I am so busy”.

Or, “I can’t dedicate time to calling new people because my existing clients need unhindered access to me.”

Funny, but I am usually working with these people because they need to boost their sales numbers. The guys making the big money don’t seem to have nearly as many excuses, and certainly not stupid ones.

To confront this predictable objection, I usually ask if these people ever have meetings with their clients, or with their boss, or with a doctor during the work day? If not, I ask if they ever have phone calls with important clients that can’t be interrupted.

If a person is in sales, then they probably say yes to one of these engagements that requires a dedicated, uninterrupted chunk of time.

See where we are going here?

So the problem isn’t really time, but rather priorities.

So what these sub-optimal performers are saying is that they don’t prioritize the first part of the sales process. If this is true, how can their business grow?

A process – by definition – is a sequence of steps that starts with the first and works through towards the last.  Our salesperson, by way of analogy, is trying to bake a cake but not bothering with the ingredients. If you put an empty pan in the oven, you won’t wind up with a cake.

In the same way, you won’t wind up with sales if you don’t contact leads – existing clients or otherwise – and ask them to talk about new lines of business.  As much as we might hope that it does, new business rarely falls into our laps without a little push from us.

So ask yourself – what do you do to avoid prospecting, and at the end of the day, is that a good thing for your business or not?  If not, then simply schedule a meeting with yourself a few times a week, and treat it like a meeting with your most important client.  If you consider yourself and your future success as a business person to be more valuable than any single client, then this might not be so far from the truth.  Schedule these meetings, do this work, and watch your importance and success as a business person grow!


Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!