Napoleon Hill once remarked that your ship can not come in unless you first send it out. Nothing could be truer for sales professionals. Let me paraphrase: Your sales can not come in (close) unless you first send out (engage with) some prospects. Sales people that actively prospect every day (ie send out their ships) will always outperform those who just sit and wait. In fact, if you are waiting at your desk for the phone to ring and sales to come in, you are simply an order taker. And you will wait a long long time to be successful. I have never met a wealthy order taker. I have met plenty of wealthy sales people.
The best prospectors hedge their bets. They use multiple prospecting techniques to send their “ships out to sea” Some will return with a big bounty, some with a little and some not at all. You can never count on a “one size fits all approach to sales, nor a 100% close rate in sales – even Christopher Columbus was smart enough to send 4 ships out to sea!
Let’s start a list. Below I have complied 18 ways to send your ships out. I am sure that you can add to this list to create at least 31 prospecting ideas. One for every day! Just imagine how many sales you can make each and every month if you commit to prospecting every day!
- Cold calling
- Direct Mail
- Regular email newsletter
- Monthly hard copy newsletter
- Customer reactivation calls – call customers you have not heard from in 6 months or more
- Networking events
- Trade Shows and conferences
- Face to face door knocking
- Asking for referrals
- Sending a catalogue of your complete product listing by mail to your existing customer base
- Offering a free white paper or ebook on your website
- Offering a free trail of your product
- Radio / TV / Newspaper / Online / magazine advertising
- Association marketing
- Involvement in charity work
- Fax blast
- Voice mails
Dedicated to increasing your sales,