4 keys to pick the very best prospects for your service
The key to selling your business-to-business service is to make sure the organizations or companies on your list have a problem in which you can provide a solution. But what if you have a large list of prospects to contact? How can you narrow the list down to the most profitable opportunities? Here are four quick tips.
Consider the size of the company. The number of employees, the company's gross revenue, its number of customers, its growth statistics (or projected growth), and profitability can all be factors in narrowing down a large prospect list. Some of this information can be found in their marketing materials and/or their website, news that you read about them, etc. Granted, if your service targets smaller, private companies, this information might be harder to get. But if you see a news item in a business journal about new customers the prospect has received, new revenue levels, or new heights in profitability, you can add this information to your customer database - and over time it will help you target your best prospects to contact for new business.
What companies are the best "fit" for you? Are their companies that you are more familiar with, or industries that you understand better? Maybe it's the culture of the company that seems a better fit for you. Or maybe the company's passion or "cause" relates well to your own. Go through your prospect list and identify any companies that you feel you'd have a better fit. These reasons are always subjective, but they can help you narrow down a more targeted list to call. The better the fit, the more likely you'll make a connection to propose or sell your services.
Educate yourself. If there's a particular "vertical market" that you see on your list of prospects that interests you or seems more likely that you can provide the right solution to their problem, take some time to visit websites in that vertical market. Do a web search for that market's industry trade associations, conferences, trade shows, etc. Check out books from the library on the topic. Learn the buzzwords and the key concerns of companies in this market. The more prepared you are before you contact them (to have an intelligent dialog with them) the more successful you'll be.
Geographic concerns: don't count yourself out. If your service requires face-to-face or on- location visits, you'll obviously need to target prospects in those areas. But don't overlook the fact that many companies nowadays - large and small - have satellite offices or even "virtual" employees (decision makers or influencers in the buying process) located in areas outside of the headquarter office. So if a prospect looks promising, and a good fit, take time to visit their website and see if they have office locations or personnel in your geographic area. Just because a viable prospect is headquartered outside of your geographical location, that doesn't necessarily mean that a key decision maker for your service isn't located near you.