Prospects are important in sales – without them it’s like a salesman without a job. Thoughtful prospecting translates in to actual sales. The ratio of actual sales to prospects goes up when leads are worked on creatively and in fresh ways.
Those who like sales accept prospecting as a fun way to get to know new people. The idea should be to build a professional relation and not just start a sales pitch. When the focus is on building a professional relation, the clients show interest because there is something in there for them. Also, a sales person should be ready to face many rejections and not get disheartened by them. With a winning attitude sales personnel should go about prospecting in these following creative ways.
Old Wine in a New Bottle
Many age old prospecting techniques may have become redundant in today’s fast paced world. But some techniques, like wine, get better with age. Modifying a few of them a bit and adding a fresh approach these sales techniques can produce wonderful results.
The old technique was to make phone calls to existing customers, past clients, referrals, contacts obtained through networking, colleagues, and new companies. The new technique is to use the same method slightly differently. Find out how your leads prefer to be sold to. Do they prefer being emailed or phoned or both? Publishing is a big business and there are publishers that do not accept any manuscript sent to them electronically. Does the concerned person want being contacted through his juniors or prefer direct approach? Does he get impressed when you refer his elite social network friends through whom you got his contacts? Use of social networking sties such as Linkin and Meetup will help you to find new leads and more information about your leads resulting in more sales.
Meeting at Unusual Places
Golf courses, bowling alleys, tennis clubs, reading clubs, vacation resorts etc. are unusual places where prospects should be met and the foundation for a professional relationship built in a relaxed atmosphere.
Win the Security People
Now security people are an indispensable part of every organization. In fact, to meet or contact a manager, a sales person has to cross them first. So it pays to be friendly and charming to the security people. They may give invaluable hints about the way an organization or a contact person operates, including how the VP prefers to be contacted. If a sales person is warm and friendly at the entrance of a building he is more likely to stay that way when he is inside it.
Use newer tools to communicate. When contacting on phone if there is the possibility of using video phone that’s better. Many top executives prefer to flaunt their techno savvy ways. They should be lauded for their enthusiasm to keep updated with fast evolving monstrous communication technology. They will be glad when communicated through latest communicating tools such as: Skype, video conferencing, social networking websites etc.
Creative ways of prospecting are endless. It just requires a slight imagination and commonsense to turn the ordinary prospecting method in to an inspiring and lively one.
About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.
Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching
Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)