PROSPECTING & QUALIFYING POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

By Peter M Wafula

Who is a Prospect & What is Prospecting?
• A prospect is a qualified person or
organization that has the potential to buy your product or service • Prospecting is the lifeblood of sales because it identifies potential customers • Why prospect? • To increase sales

• To replace customers that will be lost over time • Who is a lead? • A person or organization that could be referred • to as a suspect-the person or organization is suspected of being a prospect Once the lead has been qualified. the lead becomes a prospect .

Characteristics of a Qualified Prospect • Does the prospect have the money to buy? • Does the prospect have the authority to buy? • Does the prospect have the desire to buy? • A simple way to remember this qualifying process is to think of the word MAD .

if past experience reveals that one person out of ten will buy a product.How & Where to obtain Prospects • The cold canvas method –this is a method that is based on the law of averages. then fifty sales calls could result in five sales The salesperson contacts in person. and/or by mail as many people as possible.recognizing that a certain percentage of people approached will buy • .For example. by phone.

• There is normally no knowledge about the individual or business called on • This form of prospecting relies solely on the volume of calls made • The door-to-door and the telephone salesperson both employ cold canvas prospectors .

with repeat sales from customers being better .• Endless Chain-Customer Referral-this refers • • to satisfied customers who refer the salesperson to someone else to do business with It is a very effective method of finding customers because it has the highest credibility degree Customers and customer referrals are the two best sources of future sales.

• Orphaned customers-salespeople often leave their employers to take other jobs.when they do. their customers become orphaned • A salesperson should quickly contact such customers to begin developing relationships • You can turn orphans into a leadgenerating goldmine .

• If you have been selling for a while you’ve build up a backlog of inactive accounts • Weed out the names who for whatever reasons will never buy • The rest are solid prospects • Call them and find out why they are not buying from you anymore .

Ask yourself the following questions: • Who are my ideal prospects? • Which economic bracket do they usually fall into? • What kinds of organizations do they belong to? .• Get Lists of Prospects-make a list of what your ideal prospect looks like.

or divorced? Do they have children? Do they have particular political leanings? Do they have similar occupations.illnesses.single.• What characteristics do most of my existing • • • • customers share? Are they married.hobbies.widowed.transportation needs or family concerns? .

this type of gathering gives a salesperson extensive contact with a large number of potential buyers over a brief time .it is critical that you take down their names and addresses for follow-ups Although salesperson-buyer contact is usually brief.• Public Exhibitions and Demonstrations-are • • rich sources of sales leads and prospects As interested people gather around your stand.

Using Direct Mail for Prospecting • What is direct mail? • Direct mail is a form of communication that entails: • Mailing information to the customers • Writing letters to the sales force • Mailing data or information to the distributors .

• Writing letters to the managers • In other words. you are indulging in direct mail • Questions you should ask yourself before sending out the letters: • What do I expect to achieve by sending out this letter . every time you write a letter.

• What could I expect to achieve? • What are the benefits of direct mail? • Versatility • Selectivity • Direct action through generating leads for the sales force on a continuous cost effective basis .

• • • • • • Direct mail supports the sales team by: Giving advance notice of calls Assisting in the making of appointments Keeping product information in the forefront of the key targets more often than the salesmen can call Reminding the target of the product range within the salesperson’s cycle In making announcements or promotion news .

• Direct mail will work for you if you have a good plan that follows clearly-defined objectives • The first thing that needs to be done is to ensure that the company has the right mailing lists • The correct target lists must be build and be kept up to date .

• The mailing lists should be categorized as follows: • Top prospects list • Medium prospects list • General prospects list • In this way the budget that is allocated to the mailings can be related to the business expected .

brand activity. uses.Prospecting By Telephone • Telephone selling enables the company to exert • • • • much greater control over its sales operations as follows: It increases sales to existing customers It liberates by reducing routine calling activity Increases the rate of dissemination of information to prospects regarding price. etc It opens new accounts . packaging changes.

• Revives moribund accounts which have not ordered for six months • Introduces new lines to prospects • Increases average order size • Increases total numbers of orders obtained per week .

• As well as the direct effect of the telesales activity. for example: • Opening new accounts • Reviving moribund accounts • Selling the full product range . it can free salesperson’s time so that more time can be spent on.

• Introducing new products • Negotiating more promotions • More effective planning .

conversion rates for telephone calls • Number of calls to be made in a set period .Ground Rules for Running a Successful Telephone Sales Unit • Define the objectives-objectives should be stated in clear measurable terms so that the results achieved can be assessed and be congruence with company’s marketing objectives ensured • Precise targets need to be set for order sizes.

and the role of the telephone selling system in relation to the sales force should be defined Existing paperwork and order-processing systems will need to be made compatible with the telephone selling systems .• Planning and controls-the volume of sales by • • product to be sold and the types of customers to be sold to should be planned The frequency of customer or prospect calls.

the sales team must be convinced that the telesales team will compliment and indeed add value to the process of selling.• Recruitment and selection-Telephone sales • units should have qualified teams that are well motivated and trained to give quality service to the customers Sell the idea to the sales force.Telesales must be seen to support the efforts of the field sales team so as to win their confidence .

for the telesales unit to be successful. the customers must be convinced that the telesales personnel will not replace the sales force but instead the customers need to be educated to believe that the unit will add value to their businesses by speeding up ordering processes .• Sell the idea to the customers.

• Implement and validate-telesales should be tested on a pilot basis before a company goes national or commits all its resources to it .

The end .

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