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Prospecting Strategies

The first step in successful sales is accurate targeting which includes two phases:

      1. Analysis: Identifying your best prospects.
      2. Prospecting: Using personal marketing techniques to generate leads.

It is important to identify the prospects who will have the highest need for your product or service. These are your best prospects-the ones who are most likely to buy, use, and recommend you and your services.

When you have identified your best prospects and know where to find them, you can use your personal marketing skills to generate leads that will most likely result in sales. These techniques can actually help you create an environment where your prospects call you! Lead generation is the fuel that drives the engine of your sales success. The techniques discussed in this chapter can keep you supplied with highly qualified leads for the remainder of your sales career.

Analysis: Identifying Your Best Prospects
How can you identify those prospects who are most likely to want to hear your message? And, once you've identified the profile of those most likely to buy, where can you find prospects in large numbers who fit your profile?
Your study should begin with an analysis of your sales over the last two to three years. If you are new to sales or to your company, look to experienced salespeople or to your sales manager for help here.

In your analysis, you'll look at three things:

      1. Who bought what?
        Which customers accounted for your past sales? What products or services did they buy and how much did they buy? Which sales were the most profitable? Which ones had the shortest sales cycle? Take a close look at which industry and segment of the market these accounts are in. Your goal is to identify the patterns in your high-volume and high-profit customers - the ones who provided the most valuable business to you and your company. Also be aware of high profile customers who can influence others to want to do business with you as well. Whichever factors you use, determine the profile of your best customers.

      2. How did you find and sell those customers?
        Look at the sources from which your best customers came. Exactly how was that business acquired? Where did the initial contact come from? Look for patterns! Find out what you are doing that is working! This will help you to focus on your highest leverage opportunities for reaching similar customers.

      3. Why did they buy what they bought?
        What exactly is it about your product, service or company that makes it attractive to your best customers? Why are they buying from you and not your competitors? They may be buying because others they trust know you and buy from you. Use your call reports, interviews, company memos, notes, testimonial letters, as well as your own knowledge of your accounts, to find out why your customers bought from you.

NEXT: Using Personal Marketing to Generate Leads



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