Ah, prospecting. The art of finding your next customer. The part of selling that makes even the most seasoned and successful sales people cringe. Why is that? What is it about prospecting that causes people to start twitching, flinching, gasping for breath? It’s not talking to strangers that cause concern, nor is it hearing “no I’m not interested.” What really creates prospecting frustration is not knowing where your customers are hiding.
Networking is one of the keys to success in sales. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to sell something. But networking for the sake of networking can be quite demanding and draining, physically, emotionally, and financially. Time is your most valuable resource. Time is more precious than the Hope Diamond or the Seven Seas (Steven Spielberg’s yacht). You have a finite amount of time. You can never have more time, but you can always waste time creating a shortage. Spending this precious resource wisely is your best chance to succeed in selling.
Imagine if you knew exactly where your prospective customers hang out. You know where they will be, when they will be there, and for how long. Knowing their hang-outs is critical to maximizing your sales results. After all, you can’t sell something to someone you don’t know how to find. If your prospect is a restaurant owner, her hang-out may be at a state restaurant association trade show. If it’s a CIO, his hang-out may be CIO.com. No matter who your prospect is, he or she has some typical, and predictable spots they go to learn, question, and advance their decision making process. Knowing where these hang-outs are reduces the number of networking events you need to attend. If you knew that all your prospects were gathering at a specific venue every Wednesday evening from 6 pm – 7 pm, wouldn’t you be there? Of course you would.
How can you find out where your buyers hang out? Ask them! What publications do you read on a regular basis? What types of events do you attend and why? Who are your trusted advisors? How do you research potential solutions for a business need? Sure, this is buyer persona work and it takes time. Sure, your Marketing department should be leading this work. But if they’re not? Do it yourself. What you’ll discover will help you serve more buyers, more quickly.
These questions will help provide the answers and the insights into where your prospects are spending their time during their decision making process. Once you know that, you can focus your energy on being visible at these hang-outs whether that means in person, or through content posted on a specific social channel. There’s great power in knowing where your prospects go to learn and decided. When you know that you’re more than half way to the sale!
If this is something you’re interested in learning more about let me know.