Establishing a set of quality leads prior to actual marketing or selling is a very important step in marketing your product. This allows you to ensure that time and resources are not wasted and spent on leads that do not have a possibility of buying.
Sales Prospecting is usually confused with Networking. Networking is one of the earlier ways to search for possible leads or buyers. Prospecting is more individualized and personal. Instead of just sending out invitations or fliers to a certain group as with Networking, Prospecting aims to individually encourage and persuade the leads to patronize the product. As this is a more personalized approach, repeat customers are also gained over time.
Instead of having to search for another set of leads, previous buyers are individually accommodated and their needs are each catered to. Although prospecting should first be the establishment of a sales ground, business relationships are already maintained at the early part of the negotiation. This also gives the sellers an idea of the kind of products that they could provide, depending on the demand of the leads.
Since not all prospects may be interested or available to accommodate your business at the onset of the process, you will need to find other ways to introduce yourself to the prospects. Keep in touch and ensure that building relationships is still your main goal. Taking the chance to provide information regarding your business or products without forcing it too much would, at least, give the prospects an idea of what you can do for them. If possible, build curiosity around the information that you provide to make them more interested in what your business can do for them.
With other sales approaches such as networking, this personalization and building of relationship may not be established until the customer shows interest. As prospecting caters to the specific needs of the prospect, the type of information and approach used to persuade is relevant to the issues concerning the lead. At the same time, it is not only about the customer finding its need in your product; it is also about finding a possible need that your product can resolve.
General information is provided, usually to customers who would take the time to see what your product can do for them. However, some may not even care to do this. Scripts and canned responses may be used for networking and prospecting. However, in spite of the scripts being used within the process of prospecting, the flow of the conversation may not jive well with the prepared sales spiels. It is then important that in the conversation, topics should revert back toward your business. Good communication skills are required to allow flexibility and creativity in the process, while still keeping the sale intact without putting off the customer.
In prospecting, ensuring that there is an established business relationship between you and the customers are very important. Apart from collecting your base market, it is also imperative that the long-term aspect is taken into consideration by building and maintaining amicable partnerships with the leads early on.
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