October 14, 2015

The time we have prospecting is limited and it shouldn’t be wasted on ineffective activities. One of the major things we can do to improve this is by being more targeted in our approach at the very beginning of the sales process. Target The Right Prospects! 

Here’s what I think… Generic marketing hinders our success in finding the right customer for our business. Sending out information on how great our company is doesn’t cut it anymore. Not having a specific message that the recipient of our marketing campaign can relate to in their world dilutes all our sales efforts. Finding our new profitable customer will be hard to achieve without first targeting the right prospects – simple!

Here are a few tips on how to get more warm/hot leads by targeting prospects more effectively.

Do some target prospect profiling

Being able to do a proper profiling of target prospects means that we are spending our time prospecting the right people. It’s important to really understand who it is we want to sell to and who want to buy from us. This knowledge will without a doubt improve our conversion rates, increase our profitability and reduce our prospecting time.

The definition of the right target prospect depends on our business type and business goals. A good way to start the profiling is to identify our best customers and find out the common denominators. This should give us a good picture of the type of  customers we want to do business with in the future. Be aware, this tactic isn’t always accurate as we may want to target a different type of customer to our current lot as a business strategy.

Things to consider when profiling our target prospects:-

  • Type of company/industry
  • Employee numbers/turnover
  • Stage of their buying process – are they looking for our products/services at the moment?
  • Will they be a profitable customer?
Qualification of incoming leads

The same profiling technique applies for incoming leads, as a qualification process. We don’t have to follow all our leads up completely. It is worth qualifying inbound leads by asking challenging questions on whether they are a good fit with our target prospect profile.

I have heard too many salespeople say they visited a prospect and found out it was a waste of time. The way to reduce this risk is to qualify early on!

Identify the key needs/wants of targeted prospects

To be able to properly attract our target prospects, it is essential that we understand how our products and services meet their needs and wants. Needs are rational current business issues that our prospects are facing and wants are usually based on emotional motivations.

What are the main business issues that our prospects are probably dealing with at the moment and how can we solve these? Examples could be the need to save money, save time, adhere to company policy and keep up to date with government legislation.

What are the main emotional motivations of our target prospects? Could it be prestige, satisfaction, happy employees, a good nights sleep, less stress or peace of mind? What is amazing is that most people buy based on emotional wants even in a business scenario.  Understanding these are very important.

Create an message that will attract targeted prospects to engage

We have identified the target prospect and their needs/wants. And… we know how our products and services can provide a solution.

The next step is to provide a straightforward simple sales/marketing campaign that relates directly to these targeted prospects. We may end up with a variety of campaigns specific to each prospect type/need/want. By doing this we will create more interest and better leads.

In any case, a targeted and focused approach will reduce the time wasted dealing with the wrong people early on and throughout the sales process, improve our success rate and as a consequence improve our sales performance.

Happy selling!

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