Are you just making calls or are you targeting the right people with your calls? As a small business owner, your business is driven by sales and your time is limited. You must make your time spent selling as impactful as you can and contact the right person, with the right message and at the right frequency. Today let’s discuss contacting the right person.
Prospecting Strategies for Your Business
Phone calling can be the most efficient way to contact prospects because you are not having to drive around place to place, but this can present its own challenges. When you first contact a prospect, that initial contact may be with anyone… a receptionist, the president of the company, someone in between, or even the dreaded automated answering system. With some call pre-planning, you can narrow down who it is that you need to contact and get closer to the decision maker. Without that pre-planning, chances are that whoever answers the phone will block your efforts at getting through, derailing or extending your sales cycle.
In your pre-call planning, here are a couple of things to take into account to help narrow your focus:
- What type of facility are you calling on? Does that industry or facility type usually have Facility Managers, Plant Engineers, Maintenance or other titles for the person in charge of utilities? Target people with those titles in your calls.
- Use LinkedIn and search for any contacts that may work at that facility with those titles. If you cannot find anyone that may have any of the titles you are targeting, what other names can you find? Maybe you can find a Plant Manager, Site Manager, Controller or Purchasing contact. Use them to help open doors.
- Remember, when you talk to people at the facility, you are there to help them save water, energy and dollars. You are a solutions provider. With a proper value proposition, they will see you as helpful and not just a nuisance salesperson. Use this to get past the gatekeeper or in getting a referral to the proper person you need to speak with.
- You are always better going in with a name if you can. Sometimes that just isn’t possible though. Use the list of titles above, provide value to whomever you speak to and if they see the value, they will refer you.
Often times, making a site visit is the best way to gather names at a prospect location. As mentioned, this is a slower process but is usually more efficient in the end. Use the same techniques as you would on the phone. You have the advantage of actually meeting someone in person, if only briefly. One key consideration here, however, is to not push for a meeting when dropping in unexpectedly. This can often times backfire by coming across as rude or pushy. Remember, your goal is to get a name to schedule a meeting for a later, more convenient time.
Moving a potential contact into becoming a viable prospect is always the difficult part, but it is a necessary process for any small business. The keys to sales success are getting the right message to the right people at the right frequency. Focus on getting to the right people and business growth will follow.
Contact QualiChem to help with your sales strategies as well as the technical needs of your business.