Finding, Connecting and Qualifying Prospective Customers

Do you struggle with finding good quality prospects? Do you have a system for weeding out unqualified prospects? Phyllis Smith, President of EZIA Enterprises, Inc., shared with us on this month’s SkillBites Show a number of valuable tips to help us find, connect and qualify our prospects.

  1. Understand your market. Are you selling to consumers? Small businesses? CFO’s of $100 Million+ businesses? You need to be precise, so you don’t waste time and money going after the wrong people.
  2. Test your marketing. Since you know your own geographic territory the best, run a test of any marketing in your area. If it is successful, then expand to other areas.
  3. Use a warm, friendly persona. While talking on the phone, smile. Don’t use a script verbatim, or you’ll sound like a robot. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes so you understand their issues. Listen to what they are saying.
  4. Get to the decision-maker. You can find out through LinkedIn and other online resources who that is. If there are gatekeepers, be friendly and ask who is the right person for you to talk to. When you are referred to someone, reiterate what you offer and confirm that they are the right person for you to talk to.
  5. Know your elevator speech. You need to grab the prospect’s attention quickly.
  6. Be prepared. Know what business your prospect is in and what role they serve, and know about their industry. Read their company’s annual report. Have information ready to send if they want information about you.
  7. If you aren’t comfortable selling, either find someone who is or take a class. You can use college grads and train them, or manufacturer reps or part time folk, who often do work on a commission only basis. Make sure you have a good contract, with non-disclosure and non-compete clauses. You can also get a mentor, through SCORE or RSVP, for instance, or take classes.

In sum, to improve your sales, follow Phyllis’ tips. In particular, make sure you have narrowly defined your target market, identify those prospects within that target market who fit your profile of ideal clients, prepare for your opportunity and talk to the decision-maker.

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