Sales people love closing sales.
The closing of sales is what a lot of sales people tend to brag about. Which is cool, closing sales and finalising sales is of course of great importance.
However, if your sales pipeline is not filled up, then over time you will run out of sales to close.
Fundamentally, the more people you have in your sales pipeline, the higher chance you will have of making more sales! This is also relevant for business owners and entrepreneurs too. Sure, you can rely on your marketing department to deliver the goods, however the gap between sales and marketing is getting tighter by the day and it is so important you get used to generating your own leads.
So, how can you prospect for sales?
Prioritise the Time
I have worked with countless businesses who tell me they wish they had more leads, and more prospects to sell to, however they rarely prioritise the time to get out there and look for prospects.
It is simple really; the more time you spend prospecting, the more prospects you will have.
Don’t make any of the below prospecting tasks the last task of the day, or the week. Put these right at the top of your to do list. Whether it be an hour a day, or an hour a week; if you block in the time you will have to do it.
The more you put in, the more you will get out.
Pick up the Phone
As I always preach, the telephone is still one of the most effective ways for you to get in front of your target audience. What happens when your phone rings? You pick it up to at least see who it is calling you. This is disruptive marketing at it’s best.
Not only that, but by having engaging conversations with your prospects you will be given the chance to develop strong relationships with your prospect, and you can also learn about their pain points and their needs.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to always cold call (although cold calling is effective). You can still call old clients, warm leads, or even referrals.
Networking groups are a fantastic way of meeting new contacts and meeting new prospective clients. Sure, networking is never really a quick fix, and many networking meetings will rarely lead to an immediate sale. However, networking will allow you to generate great interest in your business and in you as a person.
There are so many great networking groups out there with a whole array of groups available for varying sectors and interests. A quick search around will help you find the right networking group for you; of course, I cannot recommend the Leicestershire Business Network Group enough for those of you living close to the county!
You cannot escape social media these days. Every man and his dog have some form of social media account and this has opened up a whole new playground for you to seek new business from.
There is a lot of detail we can go into here about how to act on social media, and how to use each platform to the best of their abilities; however, now is not the time nor the place. That being said, make sure you get yourself on the major social media channels, share good and relevant content, and be willing to engage with your prospective customers.
If you keep your radars open on social media, and develop a strong personal brand, before long not only will you find more customers, you will also find people recommending you too!
Ask for Referrals
Asking your previous, or even current customers for referrals can become a key source of leads and prospective clients for you. I know it can be daunting, and maybe somewhat embarrassing to ask people for referrals (I think for many it can be seen as a form of desperation), however if you ask those closest to you and they have seen the value that they have delivered for them then they should be more than happy to refer you to others.
What is the worst that can happen? Your client could say no. Or, your client could open up their black book and put you in contact with ten of their most trusted allies all of whom could be receptive to having a conversation with you.
Remember, with prospecting for sales it is important to take the time to do so, and to treat every person as they are a customer. The seeds you plant in February could come into bloom soon enough.