A large contact base you mine for sales opportunities might be so big you cannot call everyone. You would love a way to simplify your lead-generation efforts and get prospects to come to you, with less frustration and more success. First you must find your focus and customize your message.
Why can’t you just send the same e-mail to everyone? Because everyone is different.
If you try to say the same thing to every prospect on your list, you will end up with a generic message that is no stronger than a TV commercial. Your response rates will not be any better than they are when you dial for dollars in the phonebook. No e-mail, event, or artfully posed social network question will catch everyone’s attention.
To find your focus and target your message, you need to know the following:
- What companies might have an immediate need?
- How are they similar?
- What are their issues?
- Why would they want to talk with you?
- What makes them good prospects for you?
It’s time to stop viewing your prospects as a forest and begin to enjoy the subtleties of the trees. You may have maples, pines, and aspens. Have you noticed how each kind is unique? Their leaves, heights, and climates all vary. You wouldn’t build a tree house in them the same way.
You require a strategy that will allow you to divide your contact base into manageable groups of people who are most likely to want your services. You want to target those segments where you have the best opportunity to get business in the door, identifying a micro-set of companies that will require the least amount of time and money to secure the highest return for your efforts.
To define your target markets, look for similar characteristics:
- Industry (medical, legal, manufacturing)
- Size (revenue, number of employees, users, phone lines)
- Geographic location (city, state, region, country)
- Titles you most frequently sell to (technology manager, office manager, chief financial executive, business owner)
- Departments that typically buy from you (operations, technology, legal, human resources, purchasing)
- Solutions they are buying
Once you have organized your prospects into target markets you can devise an approach and message that will fit each group specifically. It requires extra work, but they will start to notice you, and prospect attraction begins.
Kendra Lee is the author of Selling Against the Goal and president of KLA Group, which provides sales services, specializing in the information technology industry.