Prospecting for new Clients!

February 25th, 2013

As you know, in Staffing and other industries, prospecting must come to occupy a primary place on your sales reps’ to-do lists if they’re to be successful. Here are nine techniques to pass along that’ll bring in a steady stream of qualified prospects.

  1. Make a commitment to being prospect-driven. Chances are some of your salespeople only take prospecting seriously during periods when sales are down. It’s then soon forgotten once the orders begin coming in. The goal must be to focus on uncovering prospective customers year round.
  2. Focus on finding the right prospects. Prospects must come before prospecting. It’s easy for salespeople to spend a lot of time chasing would-be prospects who have no interest in what they’re selling. The key is spending time determining exactly who fits the profile of your best customers and building a prospect list around that profile.
  3. Cultivate continuously. A major mistake is making prospecting an event, rather than a process. Prospecting is not an impulsive quick fix. It involves more than making a call and, if there’s a negative response, crossing the name off the list. The purpose of continuous cultivation is to build a relationship with a prospect, something some salespeople find difficult when the initial contact is negative.
  4. Look at former customers. Many former customers may be ready to buy again or try a new product or service. Try to mix in former customers when you’re planning your prospecting calls. Former customers may also be an invaluable source of new leads.
  5. Recognize resistance to change. Prospects have a natural resistance to change. They follow the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it philosophy,” which makes it difficult to open new accounts. When prospects raise objections, listen carefully. Ask for clarification. By asking the prospect to go into more detail about the objection, you’ll be in a better position to overcome it.
  6. Give prospecting the same priority as meetings with important customers. Salespeople who don’t call on qualified prospects in their territories are leaving the door open for competitors to do so. Once competitors get an opening with prospects in your territory and start making inroads, they may start converting your long-term customers, too.
  7. Take a close look at the competition. Are your competitors failing in areas that may be your strengths? Have there been any changes in your competitors’ staff or product line that may give you an opportunity? Companies in transition provide a great opportunity for salespeople who act quickly and creatively.
  8. Resist hitting a comfort level. Some salespeople become content with their lifestyle. They hit their own glass ceiling, calling on favorite customers and looking for an acceptable amount of new business — but not too hard. The entrepreneurial salesperson is never satisfied, always thinking and trying to grow and improve business.
  9. Try to learn what the prospect does and his or her objectives. Who are the customers and competitors? Get information with web searches, annual reports, people who work at the prospect’s company and press releases.

Source: John R. Graham, President, Graham & Associates, Quincy, MA.

 For more information or a complimentary confidential discussion on any Staffing M & A subject, contact: Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

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