Need to find sales prospects, but don’t know where to start? Use these easy prospecting tips to find the right people in your target market.
For too many people in business, prospecting for clients is like fishing with only a string and a pole. They know if they throw something out there, they’ll draw attention. What they don’t understand is that you must first be at the right fishing hole. And, second, that you have to use bait.
But who is your ideal client? You should be able to list at least five criteria of your ideal client without even blinking an eye.
The answers might be something like this:
between the ages of 25 and 35
living within five kilometres of my retail location
has school-aged children
drives at least 30 Km per week
If you can’t list at least five characteristics of the people you need to reach, your business isn’t going very far very fast. To get your answer quickly, consider your top three existing clients.
Then, start picturing your clients. Are they grandmas? Businesspeople? Teenagers? Start thinking about them as categories of clients. You just might have a service that teens enjoy, but who invests the money in it? Grandma, mom and dad. So you’ll need more than one marketing strategy to make sales, won’t you?
Next, you need to know how to reach these people.
If you sell to soccer moms, where will you find them besides soccer fields? Your list might look like this: grocery stores, gas stations, quick-stop stores, car washes, sporting goods stores.
You can advertise on the bulletin board at the local car wash or grocery store - preferably ones that are close to soccer or baseball fields. Even better, sponsor a local kids’ team. The parents feel obliged to use the services of those who help pay for uniforms, equipment, programs and the various fees involved in their children’s sports.
If you sell to those who earn very high incomes, where will they be found? Country clubs? The marina? Nice restaurants? Where should you advertise? Okay, it might not be feasible to advertise at the country club, but you can certainly advertise in publications that’ll be found there. Advertise where the other companies of your calibre advertise. Critically profile The Villagers advertisers and obviously match that. Check to see if you can invest in the mailing list of everyone who docks a boat at the local marina. Mailing lists are often available if you ask at the right place.
No matter who your future product purchasers are, you can get the names of new ones from existing clients. All you need to do is ask. Don’t ask if they know anyone, ask: “What other parents of the soccer players might have a need for new tyres?” “Who do you most enjoy playing golf with at the country club, Mr. Stevens?”
Or, even better, offer existing clients special discounts or bonuses for sending in new clients. I’m sure you’ve heard or seen advertisements where existing clients are offered a 10% discount or free car wash for sending in three new clients.
I have seen my friend dragging another guy to go and wash his car in Katutura and I wondered why till I found out that he is given a free service for every three clients he brought.
They’re given coded coupons to hand out to others. You don’t have to go crazy with this costing you money. You might offer a free $5 gift card or a coupon worth a discount on the service of a neighbouring business.
Chances are that the neighbouring business will reciprocate on your behalf. The key to bonuses is offering something good enough that the client will think is worth their while to find others to send your way, even if it’s just in a passing conversation.
Once you wrap your mind around the information covered here, you’ll know where to find the best fishing holes and what bait to use!