by Erika Cannon
There’s no magic bullet that will produce new customers for you overnight. But if you persistently and consistently work at an integrated approach to prospecting, your work will pay off.
Here are the 7 tasks you need to perform to be a successful prospector:
1. Start with a good list. Make sure you accurately identify your prospect. Define your current customers by their industrial codes (SIC or NAICS), their annual revenue, number of employees, location, and title of the person you do business with. That’s your prospect universe.
2. Find their email address. No one has answered a call from someone they don’t know since 2009. You must email.
The Marvel superhero, Daredevil, doesn’t see in the traditional sense. We don’t prospect in the traditional sense.
Instead of cold-calling to start conversations, we look to email.
3. Don’t sell to them…yet. These prospects have never met you before. Nurture them with carefully worded emails that help establish you as a trusted authority and subject expert in your marketplace. Your prospect gets to know you with kind regularity, and by the time he or she is in the right amount of pain to need you, your email is in his/her inbox with exactly the information he/she needs to know to get relief.
4. Track electronic behavior. Monitoring electronic behavior – when they open an email, click on links you provide, visit your website – provides insight into your prospect’s interest level, and lets you know who you should reach out to individually. That way, it’s not a cold call anymore. It’s a warm touch. See? That’s not weird.
5. Reply to responses. Prospects will respond to your emails, and it’s important that you respond when they do. Take time to answer a question, make the introduction, or suggest a time to talk.
6. Link in. LinkedIn is the business gold standard for social media networking. Look up a warm prospect – someone who’s opened your email, visited your website, but not yet responded to an email – and send him/her a LinkedIn invitation. It’s the pump in electronic handshake.
7. Call them. NOW you can pick up the phone! They’ve been to your website, read your emails, accepted your LinkedIn invitation, but they haven’t responded to your invitation to talk. It also serves as another warm touch that let’s your prospect know that you’re serious about talking with him/her.
Here’s the hard part. You have to do these steps, or at least a combination of them every day. It doesn’t work if you don’t work it.