A Five Step Guide to Cultivating New Sales Prospects

A Five Step Guide to Cultivating New Sales Prospects
By Dick Rossman, Rossman Consulting

I met a print company owner recently who complained that none of his sales people ever did any prospecting.  “They’re great farmers, maintaining their accounts and servicing them well, but lousy hunters.  They don’t know how to find a new account on their own”.

This five step guide outlines a plan to uncover and cultivate those new prospects.

Research, research, research

First step is to research your prospect companies.  Select an industry that is growing and list its 10 key players.  Using LinkedIn and internet searches, discover what they do or make, who their customers are, what their communications challenges are, and determine how you can provide value to them.  Use your LinkedIn contacts and phone calls to find their print buyers.

Write an introductory letter

Give your prospect a brief reason for your letter, a brief summary about your company and background, and explain what specific value you can provide to this company.  Show your prospect that you understand its business, and explain how you and your company can help improve its performance.

Call your prospect

Call your prospect, and expect and plan for voice mail.  Write your message and rehearse it out loud.  Refer to your letter and explain one sound way that you can solve a problem you believe your prospect is facing.  Say something that shows how you can save them time, save them money or make them money.

Email your prospect

A week later send your prospect an email. Introduce yourself briefly but focus your message on sending them something they will value: an article, a video, notice of a webinar, a newsletter or blog, etc.  Begin to present yourself as an expert and a partner, not a sales person looking for an order.

Continue the cycle

Every 10-14 days send your prospect a letter or note, leave a voicemail or send an email.  Think of all of your communications from your prospect’s point of view and always provide information that they should value. It takes from 6-8 touches before a prospect may make contact with you, so be patient and follow the program.

You will succeed because you will be perceived as someone who can provide value and solutions.  Cultivation is a process, not a one-shot operation.

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About Patrick Whelan

Patrick Whelan is President of Great Reach Communications Inc, the leading provider of high quality customer engagement newsletter programs for the printing industry. Patrick has spent the last 17 years providing marketing programs and advice to over 400 print providers throughout North America.

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