Five Prospecting Techniques
Prospecting refers to the process of creating awareness, interest and motivation directly with prospective customers without intermediary referral sources. Prospecting tactics include networking, advertising, public relations, direct marketing and seminars. Here are some ways to do prospecting efficiently.
1. Target Carefully
Targeting means making a marketing investment in as few qualified prospects as possible. Nothing conserves prospecting dollars better than targeting. Nothing uses dollars faster than a lack of it. If you’re going to join an organization for its networking potential, be sure that the network has a large number of potential clients before you make the investment in time or money. If you advertise, have a professional choose the media, so you’re assured of reaching people who will be most receptive to you.
2. Ask for Business Cards
The business card has become the Rodney Dangerfield of marketing methods: It “don’t” get no respect. Business cards are a substantially under utilized prospecting technique. Everyone has them, but hardly anyone knows how to use them effectively. The principle technique for giving cards is to first ask for the other person’s. You will probably be asked for one in return. Use your card to give other people names of restaurants or other spur of the moment information.
3. Media Relations
When you’ve done something worth touting, tout it. Make sure you have a good photo of yourself available all the time, and make a list of both consumer and professional press contacts you would like to contact. Short paragraphs about a case or community activity in which you’re involved can give you potential exposure to a target audience. In addition to the placement in a publication, Media relations can be of enormous benefit as a reprint. In fact, reprints of favorable articles make great mailings to clients and can be bound in a notebook in your reception area, so they can continue to work on your behalf.
Another form of media relations would include online newsletters. There are a number of newsgroups, professional and trade organizations that regularly send email newsletters to their members. Having an announcement of a speaking engagement or relevant information with a link to your website can leverage these opportunities well.
4. Focus on Closed Marketing Systems
Closed marketing systems are affinity groups whose members talk regularly to each other and where news travels quickly. Country clubs, social groups like bridge clubs and religious and cultural organizations can be excellent prospecting opportunities – if you do a good job for one or more of the group members.
5. A Call To Action
Advertising works best when it’s promoting a call to action…something specific to attend like a seminar, or send for such as a report a newsletter, or directive, for more information, go to ourfirm.com. Even a positioning ad with a line at the bottom that says “Please send for our free brochure on buying and selling a business” will support your positioning and encourage response.