Failure to appreciate the need to actively look for new business
One of the first mistakes people can make regarding sales is failing to appreciate the need to prospect for new business. Many people adopt the position ‘we don’t need more customers, we have all the work we can handle’ or ‘I’m not comfortable cold-calling and it’s never successful anyway.’ These are not sufficient excuses to neglect developing your customer base.
The best time to prospect is when you are not desperate to develop new business. You have the time to develop a good sales proposition, you can be more selective about your potential targets and you can take the time to ensure that you do everything properly without being under any pressure to force the issue or rush. You also have time to employ other activities to support your efforts.
Customers can stop buying or go elsewhere at anytime, for whatever reason, due to circumstances beyond your control or ability to predict. Being complacent and assuming that business will always stay good is perhaps a bit naïve. It is much wiser and safer to take an active and deliberate roll in developing new business on an ongoing basis.
Keeping your business development skills fresh ensures they are there when you need them most, keeps you from relying on certain customers or clients too much (if they become difficult, unreliable or unprofitable to work with) and also keeps your business active in the marketplace.
The common perception of an active business is that it is also a successful business… who seeks to be even more successful.