Prospecting for and generating leads
The first and crucial step in selling is to identify prospective customers (prospects). Even when you already have customers or leads, it is vital that you continue to develop further sales opportunities. You can do this in the following ways:
- ask current customers for names of potential buyers or ask them who is their biggest competitor;
- develop referral sources, eg suppliers, bankers, trade associations, etc;
- join groups such as your local small business club or Chamber of Commerce, where you have a good chance of meeting or learning about new prospects;
- analyse data resources for names, eg newspapers, trade magazines, directories, etc;
- telephone sales; or,
- cold canvassing visits.
You should analyse the quality of your prospects by financial ability, volume of business, location, etc.
Note: If you wish to do cold colding via the telephone, then you should check that the businesses you have chosen to ring are not registered with the Telephone Preference Service, as you could be financially penalised.