by Will Rotondi
How far from home base do you prospect for new business? I ask because you may be among the companies out there that feel hindered by their geography – not in the sense of where they are, but in the sense of how far they have to travel in order to find and develop new prospects. You may want to focus only on your state, metro area, or home city because you don’t have the infrastructure, or see the potential ROI, from going beyond those respective points.
While I understand those concerns, there will probably come a time when crossing that imaginary sales barrier will be necessary if you want to sustain and grow your services. I say this for three reasons:
1. Prospecting depends on time. Not everyone needs your services right now. They don’t know who you are, what you offer, or why they should buy from you. Give them time to learn more about you so that when they have a need, they know who to call.
2. Prospecting depends on persistence. Reaching out by email once won’t mean much, especially if some of your prospects never open that initial message. Even if they do, that’s not enough to make them remember you. Reaching out repeatedly (say, once every week or two), will keep you popping up in their Inbox, and increase your chances of being read.
3. Time and persistence relate to your geography. The farther out you go, the more prospects you add to your follow-up cycle, which increases your chances of getting people to respond positively. The smaller your geography, the more time and persistence will be required to find new business.