Prospecting – Back to the Basics

Posted on March 01, 2021

Brian McKittrick

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What do you do when you’re in a cold spell of leads?

Have you ever experienced a downtime in your leads? This is bound to happen occasionally. Pro-active sales professionals will aggressively create their own traffic. Relying solely on inbound leads will earn you the team award for “Caboose of the Sales Train.”

Here are some prospecting areas that, when done correctly & regularly, will give you a steady flow of strong leads:

Focus on Your Own Clientele Base

When manufacturers created customer service index surveys, the intent was to monitor customer satisfaction. This led to many salespeople to conduct their presentations and sales calls, delivery, and follow-up to boosting their customer service score. In actuality, the goal should be to create a perfectly satisfied customer. By focusing on your current customer base, this is key to repeat business. When you are in your sales call, you should not be attempting to sell your product today, you should be attempting to sell your prospect the next 5 times. The attempt to be their life-long salesperson requires contacting your customer at regular intervals, and sending routine contacts such as a monthly newsletter (email or mail) or holiday email, to keep yourself in their memory. Definitely do a birthday contact. If you are able to maintain satisfied customers, you will see repeat business. In your regular contacts, remind your client of the other offers you have that they may be interested in.

Seek & Cultivate Referrals

Every salesperson should be asking for referrals at the end of the initial sales call. A prospect happy enough to buy, should be happy enough to send their friends & family. Another key is to cultivate referral sources to maximize the flow of organic prospects. Build strong relationships to solicit referrals from: customer base, social groups like BNI or your city’s Chamber of Commerce, churches, schools, friends & family, and social media groups. Many insurance agents, CPA’s, financial advisors, and bankers have access to clients that are attractive to many other industries. Befriend these professionals. Continuous contacts with referral sources

Daily Electronic Prospecting

For the most part, prospecting efforts don’t generate a rapid return. Your goal must be to increase your chances of successful prospecting in the long term. To do so, make a prospecting plan that engages in multiple areas.

Don’t be afraid to start cold. This can be calls, emails, or mailers. Depending on your industry, there are many association lists made available for free. These can be plugged into a CRM for cold prospecting.

Social media. By being active in specialized groups, you can pick up referrals by becoming the expert in what you do.

Orphan clients. In every industry I’ve ever worked, the company had a list of prior sales where the agent had left the organization. Ask for these, and introduce yourself. Many times you will find sales opportunities.

Unsold or Aged Lead Follow-Up

Never let a prospect go completely dead. Even though you might not be able to call a client continuously, you still can email, mail, or have them in your drip campaigns. Keep them in the mix until they buy, or tell you to quit contacting them.

Remember to keep it simple. #itaintrocketsurgey

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