The Truth About Prospecting

Prospecting for BusinessThe truth is that finding new customers is a challenge for almost any smaller company. This is because most business owners are more concerned about their products and service than they are about selling. Marketing and selling are important keys to your business success, however.

Finding your best prospects and letting them know how you can meet their needs is the real problem. Start by knowing what you do and who would benefit from it. Most businesses cannot describe why their product or service is better than that of their competition. Take the time you need to make those assessments. All of your employees need to know why your company is special so they can share that information with the people they meet.

Once you are clear about who you are and who is looking for you,

  1. Determine where your customers get their information. Where do your customers go? What do they read?
  2. Establish a plan for how to economically be found by your best prospects. What channels of communication will you use?
  3. Limit your focus to four or five channels that will be most likely to reach the right prospects. Select those that you can maintain and that will give you the greatest ROI.
  4. Your communications need to be appropriate to each channel but integrated across all of them. The structure of radio ads is different from website content, but they need to reinforce the desired message.
  5. Be sure that you can be easily found. Follow best practices for each of your channels. Search Engine Optimization, targeting prospects, and creating engaging communications are all keys.
  6. Include a call to action that is easy and has a payoff. Tell your prospects what they need to do and what the benefits will be.
  7. Follow up hot leads in a timely, consistent way. Once someone has registered or asked for more information be sure to touch base with them. These leads will go cold if too much time passes.
  8. Ask satisfied customers to share contacts, recommend you, and provide testimonials to help find leads and to verify that you are a good company. What they say has the highest credibility with prospects.
  9. Devote a consistent amount of time and money each week to prospecting (updating content, contacting, following up) and marketing to prospects.
  10. Determine goals and report the results of your prospecting to the stakeholders so adjustments can be made.

The most important part of building your business is retaining the customers you have. Meet their needs and they will return and tell other people about you. No matter how well you sell yourself, if you do not do a good job your business will fall off. With a good product or service it becomes a matter of getting the word out so people can find you and understand what you provide. Do that well and your business will grow.

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