Guide How to Prospect, Qualify, Close and Retain

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Again, there should be no pressure on either end; your prospect will accept an appointment if she is interested. Sometimes, it may simply be a matter of timing: your prospect might ask you to call back in few months.

The 7 Steps of the Sales Process

In this case, get your calendar out and set up a specific time when you can try to call back. Is it all right for me to try calling again then? You should know the size and scope of the company, key people, company culture, and anything about the company that has recently come up in the news. Doing your research allows you to personalize your introduction.

Presenting yourself as a subject matter expert Being an authority in a specific industry or topic. CEO and consultant Keith Ferrazzi, started using this technique shortly after graduating from college. Set up a blog or write articles offering free advice. According to Ferrazzi, you should make a habit of writing and publishing articles in your industry. If you include your contact information and a brief bio on the page, then qualified prospects will often find you on their own. You allow CollegeGrad to use your article for free in exchange for posting a link to your Web site in the margins of the Web page.

When generating B2B leads, you can often find prospects by offering Web-based seminars, or Webinars, with helpful advice on some aspect of marketing, or by publishing informative reports white papers An informative report that offers practical solutions to a specific problem. Requiring users to register allows the firm to track contact information for new leads with whom they can then follow up by e-mail, cold call, or mail. Even better, if a lead finds that the free advice they downloaded is useful, they will quite likely contact the firm voluntarily to find out about the marketing services they provide.

But you might not know one of their secrets to achieving this: keeping detailed records of every interaction they have with a customer. These records are part of a customer relationship management CRM The process a company uses to organize and track their current and potential customer information. CRM software allows you to maintain relationships in a systematic way, following up more consistently with your leads and continuing to meet the needs of your existing customers.

You have a huge range of CRM programs from which to choose, and while these applications were once large-business luxuries, more recently there are versions that are priced within the reach of smaller businesses as well. Karen M. If you are the only person from your organization dealing with a particular prospect e. The CMS will allow you to keep current contact and company information on your prospects and to record detailed notes about your conversations with them.

These are facts that your competitors can also easily access using a simple online directory search. But what about the last time you visited your prospect in person? While waiting to meet with your contact, you overheard the receptionist talking about the complaints the company had been getting recently because of their confusing Web page layout. You can use this intelligence to your advantage when you put it together with other information. In this situation, assume you happen to know that one of the competing design firms in town just lost its best online retail specialist, while your company has two designers who have worked with similar online retailers in the past.

You never know when it might prove useful. Include these insights as part of your organized records, too. Upscale hotels like the Four Seasons do this kind of customer relationship management particularly well. Things can change quickly in business, particularly at large companies. The account manager you spoke with last month may have moved to another company yesterday, or the purchasing agent who seemed excited about your product last year may have had to deal with significant budget cuts this year that prevent him from buying again.

Most of the directory services have a fee, but there are a number of ways to stay current, on industry news at least, without paying. Some customers are willing to form business partnerships and grow with you over time while others are just looking to do business with whoever offers the lowest price. Some prospects may never be able to help you or your company achieve your business goals, or their goals may not be strategically aligned with yours, even if you really like doing business with them.

Choosing customers carefully will save you time and energy and help you meet you goals. Think back to the sales funnel and the idea that you start out with a large pool of leads and end with a much smaller number of customers. You can qualify your leads to determine whether they are legitimate prospects by discovering whether they have the willingness and the ability to make a purchase.

Consider these five questions to help you meet your qualifying objectives:.

How to Master the 7 Stages of the Sales Cycle

It would be nice if that were all it took. But your CRM is only a way of tracking and organizing customer information; making an action plan A specific method of approach for each customer. After qualifying, you might have some prospects with a clear need, buying authority, and a fairly high level of interest, while others seem uncertain. No two customers are alike. Finally, think about the next steps in the sales process.

What details should be in your presentation, when should you make your presentation, and how and when will you try to close? Develop a timeline and plot out the steps. If you can envision the sale, you are already halfway there. How would this information be helpful in prospecting? You might scour the local paper or Craigslist for new postings, only to find one or two promising leads. The good news is that now that you know about prospecting and qualifying, you are in control of your job search and have the power to set yourself apart from your competitors.

Most job seekers look for advertised positions through Internet job sites, newspaper want ads, or employment agencies.


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This is a fair starting point, especially if some of your target companies have posted vacancies. This means that prospecting and qualifying potential employers whether or not they are advertising for a position is likely to yield good results, provided you do your research first. If this sounds far-fetched— What? When the company has new merchandise, they send out a catalog. Let them know what you have to offer. Kim Richmond, Brand You , 3rd ed. If you could work for your dream company, what would it look like?

Would it be a fast-paced, competitive environment with good opportunities for advancement?

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Would it be a creative organization where you could work collaboratively with like-minded individuals? Would it be a company that includes social responsibility as part of its mission statement? Would you work for a nonprofit, where you could see firsthand the difference you were making in the world? Consider not only the criteria that are most important to you e. Do you want to stay in a particular region of the country?

Is it important that you live in or near a big city?

How To Prospect Qualify Close And Retain English Vk35969Complete 12222

Do you want to live somewhere with good outdoor recreation? Is there some other condition that matters to you? Finally, you should consider which employers will be interested in the skills you have to offer. Just as in prospecting you should never write off a lead without investigating it, you should also never write off a lead in your job search. If you can see how your skills would benefit a company, that company is a potential employer. Essentially, there are three things to consider when you build your prospective employer profile:. You can use all these factors as guidelines to generate a list of target companies.

So how many companies should you consider? Definitely more than the four or five that have recently posted ads in your local paper. Even as the funnel narrows, an initial pool of twenty-five prospects should leave you with a number of companies that are interested in you and in whom you are also interested. Just as you learned earlier in this chapter, prospecting is never ending so you should always be adding new qualified prospects to your target company list. Finally, it is critical that as you define your prospects and perform your research, you keep records. Think about the contact management systems businesses use to organize and track their prospects.

Want more?

You can use a simple spreadsheet in Excel to organize and track prospective employer information. The same is true with your job search: keep in mind that people , not organizations or departments, are ultimately responsible for hiring. On the other hand, a little knowledge can go a long way. If the receptionist gives you the name of the human resources manager, be persistent until you get the name of either the hiring manager, the head of your targeted department, or the company president if it is a smaller organization. You might think that you should send only one letter to each company.

Increase your chances of getting a call by sending as many letters as possible to appropriate hiring managers at each company. For example, if you are applying to an advertising agency for a position in account management, send a letter to the agency president, vice president of account services, account directors, account supervisors, even account executives.

Often times they will pass it along to the hiring manager and ask him to follow up with you. So how do you go about finding prospective employers? For instance, an environmental designer might choose to specialize in sustainability issues, health care environments, or the design of retail spaces. Your prospects should be the companies who hire people with your skill set and particular focus.

A number of good online business databases can get you started here; many are the same directories and databases you would use to find prospective buyers for your products see the previous section. Keep in mind that while many of these databases charge a fee for their services, your local or school library should have free subscriptions. Directories are good resources for finding industry-specific companies e.