Definition of Prospecting in Sales! The success of every business depends on being able to bring in new customers to purchase the company’s products or services. This requires a concentrated and continuous effort to discover and develop prospective customers. Every first class salesperson must be able to live out the answer to the question, “What is Prospecting for Success?”
What is Prospecting?
Prospecting refers to the encouragement and development of potential new customers for the products or services offered by your company. This is essential to maintaining the health and positive growth of the company. Just as physical mining efforts focus on sites that offer potential for best return, so should business prospecting. Identify the populations or groups of people who will be most interested in, and most likely want to buy what your business offers. By weeding out customers who do not fit this profile, you can focus your energy on the most profitable possibilities.
Characteristics of the Effective Prospector
Searching for new business is a continuous activity, not one that happens only when the bottom line is starting to slump. Actually, when the business is doing well is likely the best time to look for new business, because the sales representative can easily project success. Such confidence is important, because prospecting is not an easy job. Success requires specific skills:
• Resilience and optimism are critical to believing that the next customer contact will be a positive one, even after seemingly endless rejections
• The ability to persevere is essential
• A positive attitude toward people tends to be reciprocated
• Successful prospecting means having an instinct for potential customers
• Being able to develop and follow a prospecting strategy is necessary
Having the right tools increases the possibility of success in mining for the gold of new customers.
Prospecting Methods: Cold Calls?
There are many ways of prospecting new business customers. The cold call method is the oldest and the simplest. However, it is probably the most ineffective approach since it depends only on finding and talking to anybody without knowing whether or not that person might have any potential interest in the company product or service.
However, the approach can produce results, and sometimes it is the only approach readily available. Be prepared for a frustrating job, facing hundreds of rejections and many of them unpleasant. Optimism and being able to bounce back for every call is a necessary skill.
Prospecting Methods: What is Prospecting by Direct Mail?
Direct mailing is similar to cold calling, since it may be distributed to people who have no interest in the service or product. However, the approach does provide broad coverage, and may develop leads that offset this cost of marketing. Adding interesting information or a chance for prizes can be used to increase response rates.
Prospecting Methods: What is Prospecting by Expertise?
Another more focused approach to prospecting tips is to develop and promote an expertise in the area related to the company business. A blog, book, conference presentations, and a website are ways of promoting knowledge in a given area. This credibility draws customers who need solutions to the expertise you promote.
What is Prospecting: Other Methods
There are many other ways of prospecting for new customers, including:
• joining clubs
• getting and using referrals
• developing clients who have been rejected by others
• collaborating with other prospectors
• developing the company website
• exploring the internet for potential customers
Whatever the approach used, successful prospecting is the lifeblood of any thriving company.