“Shouldn’t my Social Prospecting (LinkedIn, Twitter, Emails etc) be counted towards my TALK TIME selling activities?”
(This question was in response to a post on how much talk time a salesperson should have per day where I recommended 60-dials & or 3 hours of talk time per day)
Prospecting, INMHO, no matter what your method (including social media etc) should not be counted as “talk time” for this very simple reason…
You can prospect / generate all the leads you want, but if your talk time is low, it won’t matter.
Most salespeople make the mistake of using what I call the “hunt and peck” method of selling… they come in to work, fire up the computer and start prospecting for leads… find one, call it, leave voicemail… Prospect for another lead, find one, call and deal with gatekeeper… prospect for another lead (etc, etc)
This is an ineffective sales strategy. I’ve found it to be much more profitable to have my list of calls (divided up into two groups:
- First time calls and
- Follow-up calls
These groups should be ready to go before ever walking into the office the next day.
Time Management Prospecting
9 A.M. till 9:45 A.M.
If I come in and have my first time prospecting calls lined up and set aside time from 9 A.M. till 9:45 A.M. and do nothing but make first time calls, by my third call, I’m getting into a rhythm and I’m prepared on the type of lead so I’ll know what to say no matter if I get the gatekeeper, voicemail or prospect.
9:45 A.M to 10:00 A.M.
Now, from 9:45 A.M to 10:00 A.M. I can check email, take a quick break etc.
10:00 A.M. till 10:45 A.M.
I’m back at it hitting the phones calling a list I had already prepared the day before.
Following a system like that you can knock out 40 calls before lunch or have a high talk time before Noon (assuming you have a solid sales process / posses top phone skills)
1:00 P.M. till 1:45 P.M.
Lunch time do your thing, and at 1:00 P.M. till 1:45 P.M. make your follow-up calls.
2:00 P.M. to 2:45 P.M. the same.
By 3 P.M. you’ll have made more calls in one day than some do in 3 days and you’ll want a break from the phone… So now take an hour to prospect, build your list for tomorrow etc. Then get back on the phones to finish the day out.
Of course you’ll have call backs and new inbound leads coming in and you’ll handle those on a case by case basis, but I’ve found that having some structure / game plan produces better results than does being a Captain Wing It.
So to answer your question, NO, for me, I would not allow myself to use “prospecting” as part of the 3 hours of talk time. The other 5 hours of the day could be part of that, but not the 3 hours of talk time.