The SmartCompany Olympics challenge: The 100 metres sales sprint

feature-sprint-400dProspecting is the oxygen that fuels the sales fire. It is the ignition point that allows us to get in front of prospective buyers.

Great salespeople, like great athletes, do not leave prospecting to chance. They make sure that making prospecting sales calls features regularly in their weekly sales activities. Many experienced salespeople make sure they do two or three two-hour blocks of prospecting every week: Calling on both new and existing accounts looking for new business opportunities. By doing this they make sure that they always have viable, ready-to-buy-now prospects to talk to.

Sometimes sales managers will organise Prospecting Competitions amongst their sales teams – setting a challenge whereby sales people come together for one or two hours and make as many prospecting calls as they can with the aim to get as many client appointments as possible.

So, in the spirit of the London Olympics, we would like to propose that you create your own Sales Olympic events, with the first event being the 100 metre Prospecting Sprint. Get as many appointments as you can in one or two hours – run this event two or three times over the next 10 days to two weeks.

To get yourself ready for the 100 metre Prospecting Sprint event you will need the following:

  • Prospecting list: company names, contact names and phone numbers of new and existing accounts you want to work with, sell to, or do business with.
  • Call objective: the WHY you want to call them; what you hope to gain by contacting them i.e. an appointment, referral, etc.
  • Valid business reason (VBR): what you are going to say to your prospect; how you will engage the prospect and get them talking to you; what will be of interest to them?
  • Honourable retreat: not everyone will be ready to speak to you, so you need to know how to make an honourable retreat so that you can come back another time.
  • Scoreboard: keep a scoreboard about how you and your team members went. How many calls were made; how many people did you each get through to; how many appointments were made; how many new opportunities were uncovered?
  • Celebrate: celebrate any wins and encourage your salespeople to make this a regular part of their sales week.

Enjoy the Olympics and don’t forget to enjoy your own sales successes on the way.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Her business Barrett P/L partners with its clients to improve their sales operations. Visit


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