January 11, 2011

Attaining new prospects

When looking for customers, it’s easy to feel like you’ve used all of your resources up. However there are many ways to reach out to those new customers that are probably having just as hard of a time trying to find you. First off, using sites like Linkedin.com and spoke.com are extremely useful prospecting networking technology sites and can shorten your sales cycle time by up to 25%. Also, analyze your current customers to understand your target audience more clearly. Most importantly, stay on top it by making little goals like calling 3 new prospects after lunch, or making several appointments each week.

Attend a networking meeting

Networking events can be intimidating, but are highly resourceful. A quick segway into conversation is starting with something personal like, “what are your thoughts on the conference?” You can strengthen this bond by offering some sort of service (professional, personal, or technical). This way, you’ve stood out by creating a more intimate conversation. Here are a few quick guidelines to keep your persona strong and open to meet others:

  • Stand up straight
  • Show that you are helpful and well connected by introducing people to other people
  • Make strong eye contact and smile
  • Have your name tag in an easy to read, visible place like the upper right side

Make time to prioritize

The four main things to look at to understand a new prospect’s readiness to buy are source (where did they come from), need (their reasoning to contact you), timing (how fast can they make a decision), and budget (can the afford it). This will help you understand which clients need immediate attention, and which ones would like a quick email follow-up.

You’ve got the relationship, now leverage it!

Once you have attained new customers, it’s easy to think you’ve won the battle. But like any relationship, you must nurture the connection to continue upward growth. Utilize your professional relationships by staying in touch like taking your customer to breakfast or lunch at least once a week. Also, show that you’re trustworthy and likeable by using your natural curiosity and empathy to get to know their interests and who they are. Once they feel comfortable with you, they are more likely to offer referrals, which is the key to growing your prospects.