Finding the Right Prospects for a B2B Sale
Build Your References
Once you have identified a qualified prospect, whether they are buying from you or not, ask them for referrals. People or companies with the same interests tend to know each other. And it will be easier to open a door using a colleague's name. I've had people call me, rather than the other way around, because a client has said good things about Affinity Express.
Profile Clients and Prospects
Look at your current and past clients to narrow down segments and industries. Successful salespeople often sell within the same category because they understand the needs of those customers. We have a growing group of retailers in the grocery segment and direct marketers using our pre-media services, so every new contact gets easier as we build our list of references.
Find the Right Buyer in the Organization
Understand how purchasing decisions are made. You may get a great reaction and tremendous interest from someone who has no authority or influence to spend. I can't sell Affinity Express advertising and marketing production solutions to the IT departments of companies.
Network with Salespeople in Other Industries
Their prospects might have the same challenges as your clients and you can leverage their existing working relationships. In my case, contacts in our newspaper segment often have direct relationships with major retailers I am trying to reach. The name of a decision-maker and, in some cases, a phone call on my behalf is invaluable.
Do Your Homework
Having a list of quality prospects isn't enough. Why should they buy your product or service? Do as much homework as possible on the needs of prospects so that you can customize your offer to be relevant and meaningful. Don't spend all your time talking about how great your company or service when you should be touting what it does for the prospects (i.e., the value proposition).