Tools for Basic Prospecting --DeWese
Successful prospectors have some semblance of a plan. They may have personally decided to make 10 prospecting calls per week and five face-to-face calls per week. They may have decided to do a special mailing to their prospects.
However basic, they have a plan.
Along with the plan, these prospectors usually have set some objective or a goal. It may be as simple as saying; "I'm going to get three new accounts this year to whom I will sell $200,000." Of course, these plans and objectives can vary greatly depending on the printing segment where your company resides. A short-run sheetfed commercial salesperson will have a much lower dollar objective than a long-run web catalog salesperson.
These successful prospectors almost always work for a company that is providing support for their prospecting activities. At the very least, the printer should be providing the salesperson with a database of buyers within the company geography. At most, the company will have a full-fledged marketing program that is generating qualified leads.
Good prospectors must have a well-conceived and practiced "story." You can't call prospective accounts with a lot of stammering around and by asking, "Have you got anything I can quote?" You must develop some compelling reasons involving yourself and your company that cause the buyer to give you a try.
It can be helpful if you have something to announce. For example, your facility may have just installed a new press, started a fulfillment operation or installed a couple of digital presses. Your story, however, cannot be one-way conversations; it must lead to a two-way exchange where you are questioning prospects about themselves, their companies and their printing needs.
The inability and discomfort associated with meeting, and then conversing with, new buyers is probably the single greatest fear among most printing salespeople. This fear is not unlike the fear most people have for public speaking. You simply—on your own or with professional help—must get over this fear if it exists in you.