Paul Kiewiet wrote a great article on making success a habit. The entire article can be found here: http://magazine.promomarketing.com/blog/making-success-a-habit
I admire Paul’s approach to success: Attitude is everything, but it’s a persistent routine that ultimately drives results. Most salespeople wrestle with methods to acquire new business, because few actually take the time to effectively tighten their prospecting processes. If a healthy routine isn’t baked into your day-to-day to-dos you’re doing yourself a disservice. Those who don’t proactively reach out to new clients are the same individuals scrambling to get back on their feet when a long-time client walks.
Personally, my prospecting style was built around understanding the prospect. What are their hot buttons? What is going to connect with them? I would create opportunities through email campaigns, spec samples, and many, many phone calls. The best way to grab a prospects attention is to align your interests with their own. If you send a sports-related spec sample to a ravenous sports fan, they’re far more apt to pick up your call—it’s common sense. But prospecting takes time and work and effort. You have to create good habits, implement them, set aside time on your calendar and force yourself to actually stick to the routine. In other words it’s work. But what’s the alternative? Leaning on current clients until one day they take their business elsewhere and you have a non-existent sales pipe. The alternative is pretty bleak.
It is easy to fall into the trap that assumes the business we currently have will stay with us. Few of us take the time to handwrite thank-you notes for good orders or ask our clients out to lunch to thank them for their business. The more you can make your relationship with your client personal, the greater the chance they will stay with you over time. If you couple good account management with a strong prospecting process you cannot go wrong. You’ve insured that your present and future business will be healthy. Can you really afford not to prospect? That is where a good attitude comes in. You have to be persistent and consistent to achieve success in the long run. Creating a positive routine will show positive results. Creating a negative routine will, well you get the picture.