037 – Start Your Engines: Four Keys to Successful Prospecting | Mary Browning

037 – Start Your Engines: Four Keys to Successful Prospecting | Mary Browning

You can’t run a business without being able to sell, but the first step to selling is finding a way in the door.

This is a lesson Mary Browning (@marybjolly) learned at a young age from her father, who she says worked incredibly hard and did more large acquisitions than anyone she knows.

Following in his rather large footsteps hasn’t always been easy for Mary, but you wouldn’t know it based on her impressive resume. Mary boasts more than 10 years experience in sales, lead generation and operations directly in several B2B channels.

Mary is the director of sales development at Emplify, an employee engagement insights company.

She will attend her 20th consecutive Indianapolis 500 this year, has a passion for photography and is an active volunteer as well, serving as a board member for the O’Connor House and the Indianapolis Chapter President for the AA-ISP.

Mary breaks down the sales process to the most common points of conversion. Focusing on how to take a sale from A to B, B to C and C to D. Specifically, a lead generation campaign should involve the data, the message, the cadence and qualification. As that begins to take shape, you start feeling, learning, seeking feedback and ultimately improving.

But none of that happens without a battle cry, and hers is one that has effectively helped motivate and inspire her team. To Mary, “audeam” means to be bold in whatever you do and to go into battle willing to risk it all. Be willing to take situations that make you uncomfortable and turn them into something profitable so at the end of the day things will be better for the customer.


  1. It All Starts With Data (But It Doesn’t End There): Data is the list of people you’re going to call and the industry or demographics of companies you’re looking at. Taking those numbers to the next level focuses on the people behind the numbers. What are their common needs? How can you help meet them? When you consider the current marketplace, and the ins and outs of each organization, part of being a successful salesperson is understanding and meeting clients where they are at.
  2. Make Your Message Matter: It isn’t just about the numbers. What is the customer’s pain? You need to make it your job to find out, and quick! One of the biggest challenges in prospecting is that you generally have 30 seconds or less to uncover someone’s pain. That’s why it is so important to develop succinct ways to communicate a solution to that pain. Make it count.
  3. Consider Your Cadence: Most importantly, how a message is delivered should be diverse. It needs to be communicated through a mix of channels, including phone calls, emails, social media, direct mail or whatever other methods you see fit for your business. Staggering different types of communication throughout a period of time, like two weeks for example, is one of the best ways to reach someone in the long run. In most cases, a phone call or two just won’t cut it.
  4. Qualification Matters: What’s a scenario where a prospect probably isn’t going to move to a next step for you? Understanding that from the first time you take a meeting, allows you to really learn from the conversations you’re having and improve the overall conversation rate. If a meeting is disqualified, use that as an opportunity to grow by digging into why it didn’t work. From there you can structure qualifying questions to ask future prospects making you more knowledgeable and efficient in the process.

Book Recommendations


  • Costello – What if every sales rep inherited the habits of your best rep? With Costello, they do.

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