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Prospecting for Success

It’s the rare business that doesn’t want to increase sales and thus increase profits. Of course the most obvious way to increase sales is to get more prospects. However, prospects don’t just materialize out of thin air… you need a strategy to attract them. Notice that I said attract them and not hunt them down. A successful prospecting strategy is more like fishing than hunting. You need the right bait to get them to bite.

Value Proposition

SuccessThe key to generating successful business prospects is to step back and think for a moment about what sets your business apart from your competitors. Successful businesses are not afraid to study competitors. In a competitive business environment, it pays to find an edge. The key to success is taking calculated risks. Most business owners have delved into pursuing digital marketing strategies and looking for relief in social media. Remember, strategic leadership will always be about value in giving exceptional services on your core business. You want your business to stand out in your niche. Becoming a leader in your field allows you to position your business as the place to go.  One way to do this is through certification and recognition. Generate a buzz by providing exceptional service or via social media.

Think outside the box, understand what differentiates you, what makes you relevant, and what makes you credible. Figure out the benefits that only your business can provide. If you have a small business you can facilitate your customers sharing by offering a discount if they post a link on Facebook to their friends. Just have them show the cashier the post on their smartphone and they get an automatic discount!

Another possibility is to write a book relating to your business. Once you are a published author you have instant credibility and prospects will seek out your help in solving their problems.

Market Expansion

In addition to finding new prospects another way to increase sales is to sell more products to existing customers. By expanding your market you can leverage your existing customers who already know and trust you.  Market expansion involves devising ways of selling business products and services to an adjacent market. If you determine that sales to a current market have been maximized, expansion is a great strategy to exhaust. To reach your prospects successfully, answer the following:

  • What markets are you reaching at the moment?
  • Are there other products that your customers need to enhance their experience with your product?

Think about the old McDonald’s ploy, “Do you want fries with that?” By training their cashiers to ask that simple question (notice the phrasing) they were able to boost sales dramatically.

Through testing they found that 50% of the people who hadn’t ordered fries before agreed to add the fries to  their order… resulting in a nice bump to their bottom line. Can you think of a nice add on to your product? If you sell insurance you could ask if the customer would like to add an Umbrella policy or bundle their home owner’s and car insurance and receive a discount. If you run a spa you could ask if they’d like the deluxe treatment with hot oil. If you run an oil change shop you can ask if they’d like their carburetor cleaned.

Most businesses focus on the old saying ‘’if it isn’t broken don’t fix it’’. Well, the saying only invites complacency. As far as your business is concerned, complacency is like a leak in a tire. Leading businesses are not afraid of expansion.

Be Loyal to your Core Design

Running in multiple directions at once can quickly kill your focus and consistency. It is unhealthy for any business to move in multiple directions at the same time. Understand that the core focus of your business fully supports the existence of your business. If you run a golf pro-shop, adding on baseball products is not a natural extension and could easily dilute your focus and actually drive customers away.

Continually, evaluate the performance of your core business (customers, channels, services, products and geographical area) regularly. That should involve benchmarking and measuring profitability, the firm’s reputation, and the rate of growth of revenue.

Invest in Talent

In an increasingly competitive market, it is vital for businesses to have a solid plan for developing talent. With energy and time spent bringing top talent on board, the way employees are engaged is critical. Your employees will be in direct contact with your clients. It is necessary to hire motivated people who will be inspired by your value proposition. Hire few employees, train them and pay them well. Invest in talent that aligns with the success strategies of your business.

Strategizing gives you the opportunity to tweak your process by understanding what works and what doesn’t. Success requires discipline, focus, and perseverance. However, achieving successful business prospects is a long-term process that needs co