Prospecting for Gold: What is Prospecting?

The definition most often given is “hunting for gold” and that’s exactly what it is. Prospecting in sales involves a hunt for leads, leads that can be converted into gold.

Sales prospecting is the act of sales reps hunting for leads, creating conversation with that lead, in the hope you will find some who are interested in becoming your customer. In these conversations you will “sift” through a lot of people to find a few who are interested in what you have to say. You will continue to “pan” until you find those who have challenges you can solve

I have prospected for gold both as a hobby and as a sales rep. – both are a lot of fun. I love spending time outdoors and have spent a lot of time in old towns and abandoned towns. Finding gold at the bottom of your pan is a special experience. I also love to search the internet. For me it is just like looking for gold – you need the right tools and even some luck and sometimes you hit it “big”.

Today, giant corporations with millions of dollars in resources, have teams of individuals searching the world for gold. Knowing this, what can an individual hope to accomplish prospecting against these odds. It would be easy to assume that there is no chance to find anything. Easy to believe – but just not true. Some phenomenal gold discovers have been made by independent individuals. Consider:

•In 2013 a couple in California found 1427 gold coins in their backyard. They initially found a can of coins, by continuing to search they found seven cans worth $10, 000,000 dollars.

•Tom Herbert a farmer searched his the land he lived on with a metal detector on a farm in Straffordshire. He split the 3.2 million dollars with the land owner.

•In 1992, a farmer called Peter Whatling lost a hammer in his farm in England. He asked a friend to come over with his metal detector and they discovered 44.3 million silver, gold and bronze.

The internet puts you on equal ground with even the largest competitor.

Tips for striking gold while sales prospecting:

1. Put the time in– set aside time for prospecting each week.

2. Define your ideal prospect and persona – know who you are looking for and be able to identify them.

3. Connect – connecting works best with a personal message.
Be human and connect on a personal level – don’t start out selling.

4. Use technology – there are plenty of technologies available make prospecting more effective, discover them and use them.

Being a skilled prospector is one of the most important techniques a salesperson can acquire.