I was recently asked what the top five things businesses and salespeople can do to attract more business and find more qualified prospects. Certanily something top of mind for every company. “Where do we mine for new business?”
One option is to outsource your lead generation or new business development efforts to an outbound marketing company. I have some clients who rely on this option with great success. They have found companies located both in the states as well as overseas, particularly in the Philippines where the hourly wage is certanily more competitive. Of course, outsourcing overseas comes with its on inherent risks and trade offs.
Another common option for salespeople is to mine through company websites and develop their own custom targeted call list of prospects. As you can imagine, while highly effective, it’s also very time consuming.
As such, many companies and sales professionals turn to third party solutions that provide lists of companies you can call on. These companies vary in both how they charge as well as the type of targeted data and information they provide. Some of these list providers offer very targeted and relevant data on the companies you’re looking to call on where the lists they provide can be broken down by industry, profession, size, years in business, position (i.e. CEO, sales manager, VP, HR, as well as their contact information) location even by number of employees. Here’s a short list of companies who provide this type of service.
Please note, I am not endorsing any of these sites in particular, just offering you several options that are available for business owners and salespeople who are looking to mine for specific prospects. I share these sites with my clients, as each site has their own advantages and disadvantages, and provide different levels and depth of data. It’s a pretty comprehensive effort to research the solution that works for each individual, as everyone needs different data points on each prospect.
Yet, at the end of the day, I’m always shocked and amazed as to why companies don’t leverage the selling opportunities that are right in front of them, without having to spend time and money on leads, call lists or outbound telemarketers.
Here are seven additional and highly effective ways to generate new prospects without having to spend a penny.
1. Become an expert voice.
2. Prospect your prospects.
3. Mine within existing accounts for upselling opportunities.
4. Mine within existing accounts for opportunities to be introduced to other people within the organization, possibly in a different division of the company.
5. Set up referral agreements with existing clients.
7. Partnering and collaborating with other companies to cross-sell products and services.
So, before you hire some outbound calling company or purchase your next prospect list to use for your cold calling efforts, I most certainly suggest that business owners leverage the first seven strategies I suggest above. If you find that your efforts are not resulting in enough new business nor brings in the volume of prospects you need to hit your goals, or if you simply find that time constraints and additional responsibilities are preventing you from generating new prospects on your own, then it would make sense to explore these additional lead/list providers as an additional complementary vehicle that will assist you in developing a targeted list where you can generate new prospects (or have someone do the calling for you).
Keep in mind, the positioning of each of these seven strategies is different and each requires a mapped out process and approach to achieve success and the results you want. Most salespeople unfortunately don’t spend the time creating their step by step approach nor do they fully leverage these seven strategies that are immediately available to them consistently, thus leaving new business on the table for their competition to take. (I cover this in my prior book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling, just fyi. 🙂