Archive for the Prospecting Tips Category

Lead Generation Tips: The Golden Ten

Posted in Prospecting Tips, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques with tags , , , on October 12, 2009 by Dustin Hillis

The “Golden Ten” – how to Generate Leads and Turn Contacts into Clients!

One of the most important things you need to ensure sales success is a solid resource of leads…but that means you will have to get out there and generate those leads!  The good news is that lead generation doesn’t have to be intimidating and if you use the right techniques, it can actually be both productive and fun!  Because this is such a common sales question, we’ve put together the “Golden Ten” tips for generating leads.

So, without further adieu, “The Golden Ten”: 
 

The Golden Ten

The Golden Ten

1)      Use your networking resources!  Exchange URL links with companies or business that share your target audience but do not represent a direct competitor.  When any member of that target audience visits your “partner’s” web page, he or she will have direct access to YOU!  Increasing web traffic is a MUST in lead generation; more people use the Web as a shopping forum than another other available source. For example www.southwestern.com and www.southwesternconsulting.com shares web traffic to help increase web traffic from the Southwestern Company to Southwestern Consulting.

2)      Give your patrons a chance to hear from you.  Put your ‘opt in’ on every page of your web site. As a patron browses your site, he or she may not be immediately inclined to provide you with contact information – but providing them with more opportunities may prove enticing.  The more opportunities you take to generate leads – the better.  This option is convenient and is not overly pushy.    For example check out the Southwestern Company seminar website at http://www.ssnseminars.com/.

3)      Use a newsletter as a way to advertise your business.  No matter what’s going on with your company, customers will respond to a newsletter option.  Giving potential patrons an option to sign up for a monthly business update or newsletter is a great way to spark interest even over a long period of time.  Statistically, customers who don’t purchase immediately will make a purchase within the subsequent 12 months!  A newsletter will allow you to stay in view during this window.

4)      Using a website to advertise your service is one of the best ways to stay out in front of the sales wave, especially since so much of business is virtual these days.  Using an auto responder to automate your website is great way to keep your web page current without taking up scads of time.  Auto responders can be set up to send out a periodic update or email reminding your customers of sales, new products, etc.  Check out the Southwestern Company website at www.southwestern.com.

5)      Be personable! Send thank you notes to let your clients know that you truly appreciate their business.  After any successful transaction, issue a thank you – either in the form of a greeting card or an e-postcard.  This thank you note will help you stand out and is very well received in client circles.  People appreciate acknowledgment.  You can use this technique in all areas of business – not just sales.

6)      Potential customers like to hear what other customers are saying.  Ask your clients for testimonials that can be published on your web page or your sales copy, pamphlets, etc.  This is a great way to show your customers that other “real” people are truly happy with your services.  Video testimonials work great check out the Southwestern Company student testimonial video http://www.southwesternsummer.com/southwestern-company-students-home.aspx.

7)      Use your social networking circles.  Social networking is the wave of the sales future!  If you haven’t yet explored the option of using social networking as part of your sales strategy, today is the day to do so!  Spend some time looking into this powerful tool and don’t let the wave of the future pass you buy!  Check out the Southwestern Company Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=1374284354847#!/Southwestern?ref=ts.

8)      Publish press releases for new products or services.  Believe it or not, people respond to the press in a way that most other advertising falls short.  Use the power of the press release to get your services and your name out anytime a new opportunity comes up.  You’ll be surprised at the response you get.

9)      Followup, Followup, Followup!  Did you know that most people have to see or hear a message 7 times before it is installed in the “memory bank”?  That means that a followup system that get’s your message in front of potential customers at least 7 times is ideal.  Using varying options for this followup should be easy: an email, a postcard, a letter, a phone call, a newsletter…get creative and have fun with it!

10)   Market yourself with events!  Promote events, teleclasses, seminars, and other industry related paraphernalia.  Speak publicly as often as possible and use YOU as a resource.  Marketing yourself will be just as important as marketing your business.  Plus, getting out there and showing what you’ve got and what you can do will draw customers like moths to a flame!

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Are You Fishing in an Empty Pond?

Posted in Prospecting Tips, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, southwestern company truth with tags , , , on October 1, 2009 by Dustin Hillis

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Have you ever heard anyone use the excuse “I just don’t have anyone to call on!”?  Fishing in a pond without fish is not fun.  Our job is to find the ponds that have fish. There is a large body of water that a lot of salespeople seem to forget to fish in and there are 3 main pools of water you can pull from to fill your pipeline.  The large body of water that is the holy water for salespeople that will keep them alive forever is REFERRALS!

3 Referral Pools

  1. ABC Lake– Asking for a referral from every person you meet
  2. Old Man Joe’s Farm Pond– Calling on existing clients and “farming your book of business” and asking for referrals
  3. Fish Hatchery– Developing a network of referral power partners who send business to you

At the Southwestern Family of Companies we have seen true sales professionals who know that prospecting is a vital ingredient in the recipe for success.  In fact, prospecting should be one of your daily tasks.  As you may have heard before, prospecting can make or break your sales effort – which is exactly why you need to do it well…but what does it take to be “good” at prospecting?

Man-Fishing-1

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that prospecting is more than just a part-time task…it is your livelihood.  Prospecting should not be a duty that’s left only to “slow” times.  Continued prospecting ensures constant growth, and can minimize income and production slumps. Your prospecting efforts should be viewed as an investment in the future success of your business.  Basically, it’s an investment in your long term goals.  If you’re consistently seeking out new leads, you guarantee yourself an audience regardless of the market status.

Secondly, you should recognize that prospecting is a discipline. It won’t matter how “good” you are if you don’t have the discipline to see it through.  Much of being a successful salesperson is perseverance and practicing a solid work ethic.  Set prospecting activity goals for yourself and use a schedule to get there.  Commit yourself.

And finally, prospecting should be viewed as a task that requires both quality AND quantity.   Prospect well, but prospect often. Many sales professionals at the Southwestern Company swear by the “triple rule” that says your prospecting efforts should exceed your expected sales by three times.  For example, on a small scale, if you wanted to sell 3 products, you should prospect 9 potential clients!

Remember: never lose sight of what needs to be done! Get a handle on the commitment you’ve made to your own success and stick to your goals.  Make sure you are “fishing” like a pro and asking for referrals.  Ask yourself, are you really taking advantage of available resources?  Are you procrastinating?  If you are not working at your full potential get a coach or accountability partner to help you make sure you’re fishing in the right ponds and consistently have your line in the water.  For more info on coaching go to

https://www.southwesterncoaching.com/

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