Prospecting For Business
This is all about PREPARATION, PREPARATION, and a little more PREPARATION
You can never know too much about a potential customer / client. Find out as much as you can about the person / company you are about to approach.
Look through the company’s website. You can usually get a feel for how well a company is doing from the website. The things to look out for are;
- Look and feel
- Whether it is up to date (an out of date website is usually sign that the company isn’t too organised, dynamic or active
- Who their clients / customers are
- Financials – these are sometimes available on websites
Google is your friend. A friend of mine once told me, ‘there is nothing you cannot find on google’. He’s right – whether name of an individual, name of a company, nature of a business, or even your aunt’s dog, be rest assured that you will most likely be able to find it on google.
Try and get your hands on the company brochure. Go there as a curious visitor or prospective client / customer and ask them for it. If the company is advanced and dynamic in its thinking then it’s most likely that they will be happy to give it to you.
There are however some quoted companies in Nigeria (Quoted Companies!! Shocking!!!) whose receptionists still tell people that they are not allowed to give you the company brochure, or that they cannot give you certain information on the phone. Whenever you hear anyone say this, tell them that the company they work for is a public company and hence the information you’ve requested for is public domain. Sometime you do have to do a little on-the-spot educating. Do it with patience and love; but also with authority.
Ask friends within the sector to tell you as much as you can about the company in question. Trust me, if you don’t have friends within the relevant sector then your friends are very likely to know at least one person within the sector. There’s always someone you can get information from.
Find out as much as you can about the sector. It’s very important to know how well the sector is doing as a whole, and what challenges, if any, it is experiencing.
Also worth your while is finding out relevant government policies that concern the sector.
When it comes to Prospecting for New Business Knowledge is power for two reasons;
- It enables you to know exactly how you can add value; thereby ensuring that you are able to get straight to the point when you approach your prospect. Remember – the worst kind of Sales Executive is the one that talks too much – the one that just rambles on and on and on.
- When you speak with in-depth knowledge and understanding it promotes confidence.