Prospecting really hasn't changed much since the gold rush days of crusty prospectors hunting for the mother lode.
Some people still prospect for gold, minerals, or oil, but most of us do our digging to find new customers for our products or services, or to fund our non-profits.
Then and now, there are many ways to go about identifying the pay dirt, but hard work and persistence remain key requirements.
Interestingly, perhaps the best metaphor for business prospecting is looking for oil, because the modern term for the process is setting up a “pipeline” for new customers. Here are some approaches that work for many people in the marketing world. Maybe they have worked, or will work, for you:
Sometimes we close the door prematurely on folks who end their relationships with us. In some cases, their decision was based on situations or factors that may have changed. Reaching out to them should be a priority since they already know you, and they may be looking to make another change.
If you are on LinkedIn, it's possible that you get daily messages offering to help you find hundreds of new clients through artificial or real intelligence database techniques to identify who on LinkedIn might be interested. The process includes sending a series of emails “from you” to these people asking them to link up with you.
Once you've added hundreds of links in this way, you are advised to make frequent posts on LinkedIn to demonstrate your expertise, and hopefully attract new clients. Sending messages to these folks asking if they'd like to talk about doing business comes next. This process has apparently worked well for many companies and organizations.
However, a couple of potential problems exist with this means of putting people in your pipeline. First, there are so many consultants offering this service that many LinkedIn users just ignore the many invitations they get to connect with you. Second, assuming you do get hundreds of new connections at the outer edge of the funnel that leads into your pipeline, it takes time and effort to move them along.
Another LinkedIn Pipeline Approach
Instead of, or in addition to, the mining approach, you may have success in doing some research to find out who your current clients are linked to. You may even be comfortable asking your clients to recommend that some of their connections link to you. Human nature being what it is, any client you ask to help you will likely become more loyal to you as a result, which is a good benefit.
You can also identify companies you're interested in talking to and click on their personnel lists on LinkedIn. Those lists include past and present staffers, but with so little information available on some company websites about employees, LinkedIn can offer some useful information.
Did you get an attendee list at a conference? Does an industry association you're a part of offer a member list? What about chambers of commerce? Google searches? There are also lists available through list brokers and state commerce departments. In short, there is no shortage of lists available. Sifting and winnowing take time. And then comes the really time-consuming part of the prospecting process, which is making contact with all these people.
Partners Can Help
Whether you want to reach out to hundreds or thousands of people in your pipeline, it is very difficult to do a good job with existing staff. Your sales staff should be qualifying the prospects and making sales presentations.
One such partner is QCSS, who partners with companies and non-profits all over the country to identify the best prospects and generate leads. QCSS completes the job by speaking with them directly about your products or services, then generates the qualified lead or appointment to fill the pipeline.
Want to dig up some new customers with a more direct approach that is proactive and predictable for growth? Consider an experienced SDR team like QCSS
QCSS, Inc. for companies and its Aria division for non-profits will be happy to discuss your customer service in-bound needs, for telephone or email service. We are a U.S. based, women owned telemarketing and inbound customer service company located in the Midwest. Let’s have a conversation about your customer service needs and how we may be able to solve them.
For more information visit www.qcssinc.com
If you'd like to talk about building your sales pipeline and how to make sure it yields results, you can reach QCSS here: 888.229.7046. Alternatively, they can contact you if you leave your information here: Get In Touch - QCSS: Inbound and Outbound Telemarketing Services (qcssinc.com).
Book a call today to learn more: https://calendly.com/karin-hall