Prospecting For Gold
by Joe Bonura, CSP
Who Do You Call?
My mantra for sales is to make calls, make more calls, make many
more calls. However, you cannot make the calls unless you have prospects
to call. The first step in any sales process should be to prospect
Where to Begin?
So, where do you begin? When I state make calls, make more calls,
make many more calls, I don't purport to randomly pick up the phone
and begin dialing. The late great Fred Herman told a friend that
he would give him fifty cents for every lead that he gave him. The
next day, the friend dropped the phone book on Fred's desk and replied,
"Give me $50,000 dollars."
In order to be productive and profitable when selecting the best
prospects, you must initially define your target market. How do
you do that? What I suggest is to make a column down the left hand
side of a sheet of paper, listing as many of your present clients
that come to mind.
In the middle of the page, start another column and list the industries
of each of those clients. On a separate page, make a list of companies
in each of the industries in column two. Find out the contact information
for those businesses and begin calling.
They Take Your Money
Speak with your suppliers, those with whom you do business, and
ask them for leads, people who would be interested in your product
or service. Since you are investing money with them, they will be
willing to give you some good targeted leads.
Present a seminar to showcase your product or service. Invite
prospects to your free seminar, and entice them with an incentive
to attend. If you are in the financial planning business, ask them
if they are tired of losing money in the stock market. If you are
in the health insurance business, ask them if they are tired of
trying to understand the new heath care laws. Create a concept line
that best describes the benefits of using your product or service
and make that the reason they should go to your presentation.
Speak at association meetings where they are always looking for
someone to present new and interesting ideas to their members. You
can be the person to introduce information that they will find useful.
Look for associations for the companies in which you are now doing
Always Be Looking
Always be looking. When I do ride-alongs with sales people, I
always point out the sales opportunities along the way as we drive
between appointments. It boggles the mind to see the many opportunities
we pass every day without stopping. Recently, I worked with an insurance
representative who inquired how to make cold calls. I immediately
pulled into the parking lot of a hardware store; our cold call resulted
in a successful sale to that store and two other locations.
Pay a finders fee for every legitimate lead that someone gives
you. When you make the call on the lead, say the following, "I
promised Mike Smith I would give you a call." It transforms
a cold call into a warm call, making your sales call considerably
What Is a Prospect Worth?
A businessman related that he was having a problem getting people
to attend meetings for his network marketing presentations. Many
of his prospects said that they were going to attend, but then they
would renege. I asked him, based on past performance, how much was
an attendee worth. He responded that if they signed up, it could
mean at least $1,000 per year.
Tear It Up
I took a $20 bill out of my pocket, tore it in half, kept one
half and handed the other half to him. I told him to return his
half of the bill to the meeting, and I would give him my half when
he got there. He continues to use this technique and is experiencing
Here are some other quick and simple ideas for finding good prospects:
- Advertise in local media
- Use the internet and research your industry for breaking news
- Read trade journals and business publications in your industry
- Attend your industry trade shows
- Attend chamber of commerce meetings to network and get new prospects
The Real Key
The real key is to always be filling your list with new prospects.
Shoot for a "Target 100" list of prospects and work the
list until you get a client off the list or run into a dead end.
As soon as you lose one, add one so that you will always be working
a target list of 100 prospects.
Now Is the Time
Start now! Stop in and see someone on your way to work.
© 2014 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.