When I want to connect to someone, I call them or I e-mail
them. Period. When I want to work with a specific company, I contact them
directly, or get referred in. Being fearless in contacting people you don’t
know is a GREAT thing to work on in 2008.
This is one of my tip sheets. It is geared toward those who
sell to business-to-business customers, however, many of the strategies apply
to those who sell to consumers and through distributors. The key tenets of
success when looking for new customers are these:
You MUST know the value that differentiates you in the
marketplace. First and foremost, get this clear and honed.
You need to be very clear on who your more
“probable” prospective customers are. Know the demographics and niche
where your products or services are best justified.
Bring creativity, follow-through, integrity, and tenacity to
any prospecting project.
– create a prospecting plan, not unlike a marketing plan or a business plan.
Don’t have those? I’ll be posting a list of some of my favorite resources soon
– so check back.
YOURSELF or others on a team. Set goals for how many people you will talk to
directly, even if they are administrative assistants. Set stretch goals
FUN – this is always my top premise – if you don’t enjoy doing this, you won’t
be effective at it . Make a contest, or reward yourself once you set three new
appointments, or once you find someone interested in a live demo of your
– mix up how you contact your more probable prospects. Voice mail, voice mail,
e-mail, direct phone contact, for example.
Call early in the day, call at 5PM.
CONSISTENT – you must set regular time slots in your calendar to do this! Once
you set the times, honor your commitment to yourself and to growing your
– prospecting is an effective way of reaching people who don’t know what it is
that you do or how you do it.
FEEDBACK – ask trusted advisors to let you “call them” with an
introductory call. Find out how you can tighten up what you say – especially in
voice mail messages which are nearly always way too long.
research time, calling time, and updating time. Work like a machine – create a
smooth process so that you do research at a different time, and you are able to
crank through calls and email messages.
YOUR PROGRESS – use a web-based CRM system or other means to track when you
called, and what happened. Review your progress and tweak your plan based on
YOUR SUCCESS – when you get a meeting, or make an important contact – track
that as well. I have a white board where I post the meetings that I set from a
“hit list” I have of companies I desire to do business with. Pace
yourself, and work to improve as you go.