The JF Guest Author Spot
The Deer Hunter
Imagine it is deer hunting season and the hunter wanders through the forest for the annual prized deer, he is careful not to leave traces of his existence along the deer path. He has been cautious not to use any man made scent that will alert his prey. His camouflage clothing conceals him from their sight. He walks the trail slowly, deliberately and aware of all the surroundings looking for clues on the trail. He is focused, listening and looking for signs that will lead to an opportunity, a prime opportunity he can seize at the right moment.
The Sales Hunter
Now place yourself on a quest for new and profitable prospects. You will find that there are similarities between hunting for deer and hunting for new sales. For example, when out hunting for new sales, we initially, don't want the business to know we are looking for them. We may conceal our identity as a salesperson to gather more information. Just as the deer hunter doesn't run through the woods yelling, "here deer, here nice deer". We won't do the same to announce our presence either. Instead, we will quietly look for signs of a profitable prospect through networking, using the internet or through questions we ask of a receptionist or contact to confirm a matching business prospect.
Looking for footprints of prospects
Since we don't have footprints to examine, wait a minute, we do have footprints don't we. Yes, just like when we examine the footprints of an animal, we can tell what size they are and we can tell if they were running or limping. The same is true with businesses, although it might be information published about their size, their mission statements, internet resources or just asking the receptionist about the company. Some businesses make available large footprints of information on themselves.
We have to know what we are looking for if we are to be efficient hunters. So, we must do our homework and learn what the profile of a profitable prospect is. In many cases our existing customer files determine our best client profiles. If this is not available, we can ask our peers and friendly competitors who are in the same business as us and ask them, "who are your best clients?" We ask this seemingly odd question because if a good client in one sector of the country requires a peers services then someone just like them in our neck of the woods will probably need similar services in our area too. These profiles are great ways for industry peers to share prospect hunting information.
Validate and verify prospects
To begin this exercise in our own business we should run a list of our top clients and examine them closely to determine what makes them different from similar businesses in their industry. What makes them unique? We must identify items we can measure. Measurable items are really the only types we can use.
• How many employees do they have?
• What is their annual sales volume?
• How many members or customers do they service?
• Is there a specialty they are involved with?
You can probably think of a few more questions that are specific to the industry.
Once we have this list of profile measurable items, we can use this to filter our suspects from our prospects. Some of this will be done over the internet. Whatever remains on the list, we are left with asking a few questions over the telephone. One of the best sources for this is to speak with a salesperson for the company, you know that they often love to talk and brag about their company.
Once we have validated and verified our list to a short one, we can target them more directly for business and we won't be wasting our time. We will graduate to the efficient prospect hunters, who sell more and achieve more profitable sales.
Steve Martinez is the author of Sales Impactivator a sales e-publication for success oriented individuals. As the President of Selling Magic, his company teaches business professionals how to automate the selling process, preventing sales people and business owners from experiencing the hard lessons in selling. Steve has consulted with businesses around the country sharing his 25 years of sales and marketing experience to eliminate sales failure. Steve uses his experience as a National Sales Manager and National Account Executive to share the real-world lessons in sales. www.sellingmagic.com
Today's News: The next episode of "Double Your Sales In 2009″ is now available from SalesNexus
"How many sales management books have you read? I'm sure each of your sales reps has a couple of sales guru books that they keep on their desk.
Have you invested in sales training for you team?
A lot of time and money have gone into refining the skills of your sales team.
But somehow, you have a feeling in your gut that when they hit the streets and start pressing the flesh, they fall back on instinct more often than not.
In the first 3 installments of our "Double Your Sales in 2009″, we've covered setting the "qualification bar" high enough that sales time is focused on the highest value customers and knowing the return on your investment in sales time and expense at each step in your process. Click here to start with "Qualify Early and Often", the first installment."
You can grab your FREE copy here
Tomorrow: "How To Plan, Prepare, & Deliver A Compelling Presentation" It's that time of the week for me to give away yet another FREE ebook.
"This small book will hopefully guide you through each stage of a professional presentation, from understanding what audiences want, preparing your presentation, the delivery stage (including
structure, verbal and physical delivery plus the question and answer session) and finally how to handle and harness anxiety." Be sure to join me tomorrow.
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