The simple and easy answer is no you don’t need to do new customer prospecting. However, for those of us who would still like to have a business this time next year, the irrevocable answer is yes!
Customer prospecting is key to sustaining, growing and making a success of your business, whether you are a start up or more mature organization. According to Continuity Programs, customer prospecting delivers the following benefits:
• Higher Sales
This one is a bit of a no brainer and most likely the number one reason that any organization creates and executes a customer prospecting program. Gaining more sales will increase revenue and ultimately should lead to greater profitability if managed correctly.
• Customer Prospecting can lead to Decreased Costs
Very often organizations can become so focused on advertising as the key means to generate new business that they forget or overlook other lead generation opportunities. Having targeted customer prospecting campaigns can often be delivered at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and deliver a better yield.
Highly targeted prospecting campaigns allow you to customize your message to your intended audience, focusing on a need or solution that is highly relevant to them. Use customer success stories to back up your product or solution.
So now that you are hopefully convinced to start a customer prospecting campaign, here are some steps that Geoffrey James, contributing editor with Inc.com recommends you take:
1. Get a Decent List of Prospects
You can make up a great prospecting list from referrals, web site enquiries and networking (both online e.g. LinkedIn User Groups and offline e.g. Business Associations and Trade Fairs). You could also purchase a prospecting list that is focused on your target customers or industry niche.
2. Create a Qualifying Script
Define a conversational way to ask during the initial conversation if (a) the prospect has a need for your solution (b) the budget to purchase same and (c) the authority within their organization to do so.
3. Set Reasonable Goals for a successful Customer Prospecting outcome.
Set a target for how many prospects in your pipeline that you will need. For example, if you would like to achieve 5 new sales every week and you know from experience that you generate 1 sale from every 50 or so calls, you will need to make approximately 250 new calls every week.
4. Get into a Positive Mental state.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of this one. You will need a positive balanced approach. No one like to do business with a ‘Debbie Downer’, likewise this is hopefully going to be a business transaction, you do not have to try and be the prospects new BFF within the first 5 minutes of the call. Throughout the call be positive, optimistic and stay focused on what the prospects needs are.
5. Make The Call!
Work from a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Always listen to what the prospect is saying and be aware of signs or indications where the prospect is letting you know they are ready to purchase right now “we’ve been looking to buy something like this”, “I was going to contact your firm about this”, “yes, we definitely need to talk”. These are key indicators that can help you move straight to the close of sale.
If you would like to know more about how RML Marketing and Business Development Solutions can help your organization develop successful customer prospecting campaigns contact us today.