Creating a targeted prospecting strategy is the number one prospecting problem faced by salespeople from Richardson Co.’s most recent 2017 survey. The survey was divided into 6 categories; Prospecting, Negotiating, Closing, Buyers Decisions, Productivity and Team Selling and I commend them for their research and efforts.
In the next few articles, I will share with you my suggestion on how to deal with these current and prominent sales problems/challenges. I also encourage you to read her report and insights.
The top prospecting topics for 2017, in order according to the survey, are:
1. Creating a targeted prospecting strategy
2. Quality of leads from marketing
3. Win appointments
The 2016 editions were:
1. Identifying triggers/sell signals that indicate problems you can solve
2. Identifying Target Accounts
3. Win appointments
And my ongoing articles will offer suggestions on how to deal with each one.
Creating a targeted prospecting strategy
Since your existing customers are the best place to drive more sales—by buying them, cross-selling, and upselling them—your new customer acquisition campaign should start here. In these accounts you have or should have several contacts. You should also have worked your way into the C-suite, or the general manager’s office, where you’ve built relationships that consist of more than just saying hello down the hall. Therefore, with all of those positive relationships you’ve nurtured, you can ask those people for more business and buy the other products and services you sell. These people will also happily introduce you to other parts of their business and refer you to other parts of their business – divisions, divisions, product lines, subsidiaries, etc. However, unless you ask and are not attempting to sell all the relevant products and services you offer, they will not come after you to buy them.
If you haven’t already met, interviewed and developed a relationship with these other contacts and top people, then I suggest starting this process. Set up meetings with your existing contacts to meet others. Their reason when they ask for one and you’re having trouble finding one is, “They want to be sure you’re meeting their expectations, and interviewing them and learning from them is the only way to be sure.” How are you.”
Competitors are trying to break into your accounts or increase their share of joint accounts. So you would be stupid not to go after them. Competitors sell the same products and services that you offer. You can have full or part and these accounts should be ideal for you. The reason you haven’t cracked that account or become the preferred and dominant supplier is because you lack the positive, professional relationships. This means that many decision-makers, those directly affected and their bosses do not see you as what they want better than any other alternative.
The way to achieve this is by scheduling meetings and interviewing these decision makers to learn what each of them wants in terms of your solutions and how they would like to achieve those desires and/or solutions to their stated problems. This is the time to stop marketing ie telling them what you have and why they should have it and why they should buy from you and start learning what each individual wants and how he/she wants to get it.
This is the time to become your second source. So learn and ask, “What must I do to become your second source?”
The reason you want to be the second source is because customers always have problems with their providers – no matter what. They don’t usually switch because it takes too much effort and there can be a risk. However, if the customer has a second choice that has established itself to their satisfaction, they will call that source immediately.
So listen to the answer and decide if you can pull it off. I would suggest that you don’t immediately say you can do as they ask. Think about it so you show sincerity. Then develop a presentation of how you will prove that you can deliver what s/he has asked for. Make sure you do this with multiple contacts in that account as multiple people usually make the decision, especially the bosses and especially when a change is needed.
I tell everyone I coach that in this case I guarantee you an order within 6 weeks that would have gone to the competitor.
I call them that because if they can use your kind of product or service, it’s hard to imagine that you don’t have a competitor. So these can be accounts where they do it themselves or in some other way. Again, the solution here is to interview and establish yourself…if you can. But be careful, this account may not be ideal for you. This means that you should have developed an ideal profile so that after a few interviews you can determine if this account is worth pursuing.
Part of your interview (which you can use with competitors and your own accounts) is “What do you like about what you are using or doing now?” Listen carefully and get details. Then ask, “What do you dislike or would you change?” Again, listen aggressively. Caution: Don’t just focus on what you don’t like, because you buy what you like. The answers to these questions give you the specification of what you need to do or deliver to win that person over. Again, make sure you do this with multiple people because multiple people usually make the decision, especially the bosses, and especially since this is a change.
Prospecting Time Allocation
This is your prospecting strategy. Track existing account 50% of your selling time. This should be easy as you have access and should be there frequently. Track competitor accounts 30-40% of your time. That should be so difficult when you have the right mindset about learning, not marketing. You should have contacts or know how to get them easily. Finally, after the greenfields, the remaining 10-20% go. Again, try to learn instead of telling them what to do, even if you know it would be good for them.
And now I invite you to learn more
Thanks to Sam Manfer | #Creating #targeted #prospecting #strategy