Whether you’re a business owner or part of a company’s sales team, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of the number-one activity that keeps your organization thriving, and that’s client prospecting.
New business and repeat sales both put money in the till but this won’t happen if you don’t have anyone to sell to. However, prospecting is more than just broadening your social network. It’s about finding who can and will buy what you’re selling. And that’s a skill that you can refine and learn to use as an integral part of your work.
Let’s look a bit closer those daily prospecting habits. There are five simple things you can do every day to refine those skills.
1. Pick up the phone.
One of your most powerful selling tools is sitting right there on your desk. Pick up the phone and make a new call to a new potential lead. Successful people who are in the top-ten percent of any organization will tell you that this habit is vital for finding new leads and turn them into customers. Not every call is going to result in a new sale. And sales are not the only reason why you need to pick up that phone every day. Talking to people builds your confidence and teaches you to fine-tune your listening skills. Both of those will help you go a long way to meeting your sales goals.
2. Go to a networking event.
Whether it’s a sales seminar or a charity golf tournament, a networking event is your opportunity to show your face in the community and to meet new people. To be clear, no one is there to buy anything, so NO PITCHING! People at networking events are most definitely keen on making new connections…and new connections can lead to some great relationships. Make time for events in your business calendar, and always be on the lookout for new ones by subscribing to email distribution lists for social events in your area or by joining business- or trade-related groups on social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn.
3. Send an email.
The third thing you can do to hone your prospecting skills is to send an email to a prospective customer to follow-up on an earlier discussion. It costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time and the mere act of reaching out to someone helps to cement the relationship you have with that person. Don’t fall victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. Stay on your prospect’s radar. Remember that for every 30 days your prospects goes without hearing from you, they lose 10% of their potential value to you.
It’s easy for people to fall out of touch. Talk to a client you haven’t heard from in a while. Maybe there’s a reason why that’s happened. A quick note or phone call is often all it takes to rekindle that business relationship you once had with a client and that can result in some pretty exciting leads. Reviving lost customers can be a profitable way to generate business now.
5. Call a satisfied customer.
Call a customer that you know who is really happy with your services. You can call just to say hello, you can share with them a business-related tip, a link to a great news article you just finished reading, or you can even take the opportunity to ask for a referral or a testimonial. Satisfied customers—especially those that you have recently started to work with—have already seen the benefits of the product you sell or the service you provide. Staying in touch and remaining familiar face is how you reinforce that positive experience.
The key to successful prospecting is to make it a daily habit. Never let a day go by without doing at least one thing to generate new business. Recognize that each time you do this, you’re putting new potential leads into your funnel. With time, your commitment to that one simple act will bring great results, including a boost to your bottom line.