Monday, 7 January 2013

Sales Prospecting and New Business Development in 2013

91 % of Buyers in the 2012 Buyers Views of Salepeople survey have looked  for a new supplier in the last 12 months. There are opportunities right now to prospect.

But beware not all Buyers feel like this. One commented

" I would prefer to contact a potential supplier when or if we have the need. I am REALY tired of eager salespeople calling me 5-10 times per day."

Much of  success in prospecting begins with building up more names. Populating your CRM or Customer Records systems with more contacts is important.

 The more names you have, the more contacts. The more contacts you have the more chances to do business.

Back in the day of road warrior salespeople, this referred to this as “belly buttoning”. The more bellies you bumped into the more contacts developed.

Nowadays we do 'virtual belly buttoning ' via the internet and we also “do networking” at networking events. This is wise since the 2012 survey also revealed that Buyers are proactively attending more networking events themselves. 

 Whatever the  title we give to the activity- the important thing  is to keep doing it regualrly ,actively but also poitely and professionally.

One comment from the Buyer's views of salespeople read:-

"I hate the current trend of people pretending they know me ( when they don't); claiming to have spoken to me before ( when they haven't) being all friendly and familair ( how are your today?) and talking to me as thogh I am a prat ( which i am not) "

Respondent to  to 2012 Buyers' Views of Salespeople Survey.

another read

“Appointment makers should not respond to a vague request for a call back in x months with a scheduled appointment e.g. thank you for speaking to me today Fred will see you on 11th April at 10.a.m.”
Respondent to to 2012 Buyers' Views of Salespeople Survey

Carpe Diem - Seize the day

It should be part of one’s daily routine of tasks. Most contacts on the phone or face to face provide the opportunity to actively (if we are prepared to seize it) and ask /enquire " Who elase should i be speaking to?" 

Unfortunately many salespeople do their prospecting in either spasmodic purges or simply  follow the supplier herd when hard times are encountered.

They also prospect at exactly the same time as everybody else mid morning or mid afternoon. Yet looking at teh 2012 data . 31.8% of Buyers will take a phone call from a salesperson before 8.30 a.m. 21.2% will meet a salesperson on or before 8.30 a.m.

At the end of the day similar opportunties for the active prospector. 40.9% will  still take a phone call from a salesperson at 5.30 p.m. Indeed 24.6% will accept a face to face meeting at 5.30 p.m.

So here are some good regular routines to keep your prospecting skills bubbling away of the back burner:

  1. In face to face interactions always try to give two cards over at meetings which can be passed on to either other influencers and decision makers on the current project you are working on, or to other prospects. Buyers like to show that they are aware of the market and they have  a number of contacts.
  2. Find opportunities in every call to ask the question “Tell me Charlie who else should I be speaking to ? “  “ Who else would you suggest I call ?”
  3. Send out a regular metered “Saw this thought of you “ messages of links, news clippings, articles of interest and relevance to  your prospect and suspects contact list.
  4. Discipline yourself to record and follow up those who resist with “Not today. Give us a call in …” and make a record of this offer and follow it up.
  5.   Gather material and ideas in order to write and submit copy to the editors or write/email/blog post on a business topic related letter  to the editors of the correspondence page of  trade magazines and local business papers on an area of expertise you have. You never know your luck. Often they are eager for copy.
  6. Offer to speak at local business clubs and local networking groups.

The key to successful and angst free prospecting is little and often.

It is also wise to spread the various forms and combine  prospecting media.

Consider the data on prospecting from the 2012 Survey

Email , phone and letter are acceptable channels through which to communicate accoding to the Buyers who rsponded to the latest TACK International survey.

The survey also picked up an increase in propsecting aceptability in using Linked In to above 40% of the respondents.

Old skool cold calling 'face to face ' also has had a little lift to just under 20 % from negilible acceptability in between 2002 - 2007. Perhaps this indicates that when the credit crunch hit in 2008 hungry prospectors were cnsidered moe acceptable.

Texting and SMS were still considered acceptable by juts 1-2% of the respondents.

Related Links


No comments:

Post a Comment