For Top Sales, 5 Rules for Targeting the Right Prospects



If you target the right prospects, you’ll save time and money and increase your revenue.

Later in this article, you’ll find the five rules to follow. They’re developed for B2B but work for B2C, too.

Firstly, remember that once you find the right prospects and turn them into customers, your goal should be to provide them with enough red-carpet service so they become loyal.

men meetingOnce they become loyal, you benefit from built-in automatic revenue increases, opportunities for an exponential increase in referrals — in other words, a cost-effective marketing investment.

So a priority is to cut through the clutter to get your message across to the right people.

Make sure they’re the key decision-makers.

A second priority is to develop relationships with them by creating an environment for them to buy with a professional selling process.

That includes a criterion for matching your prospects with the right products and services.

Here are five rules for targeting your best prospects:

1. Lay groundwork for a long-term relationship

You need to find a need to fill. Moreover, your prospects need to be likely candidates who need what you have to offer for many years.

Research each prospect for long-term potential – a lifetime relationship of repeat business.

You need to ask the right open-ended questions. Take precautions to build trust. Plan to provide the right value.

2. Research their marketplace environment

Maximize your resources to lessen your sales opportunity costs – consider more than just opportunity to sell to customers. Assess their entire environment – all their stakeholders – their competitors, customers, and strategic alliances.

Note: The bigger their marketplace environment the bigger your opportunities for growth.

3. Ignore dying sectors and companies

Put on your visionary glasses – forecast the growth potential of your prospects.

Watch for trends in technology and the tastes of businesspeople and consumers who want value, convenience and mobility. All you have to do is to consider the newspaper, dry cleaning or video-rental sectors.

For instance: It’s unfortunate but people don’t read newspapers. Those who want to be well-informed visit Web sites. Strange but true, people aren’t dressing as well as other generations and they’re wearing washable cotton sweaters — this is why dry cleaners are going out of business. Technology has changed how people watch movies.

To see if a sector or a company is in a growth mode, here’s a simple tip: Check to see if there’s an increase in hiring, and how it compares to other businesses and industries.

 4. Focus on value-minded prospects 

Capitalize on the five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy. About 18 percent of customers – in B2B or B2C, alike – will only buy if you’re selling at the cheapest price in the marketplace. Yes, one in five prospects will be hardcore — they always insist on paying the cheapest price — no matter what.

Avoid those people. Screen them out in the qualification phase in your sales process. They are the most troublesome.

Even if they buy, they’re more likely to return their purchase and demand a refund. Even if they keep the purchase, they complain the loudest and longest.

They’re unlikely to be profitable Centers of Influence — providing excellent referrals and influencing customers your way. Focus on people who are motivated by price and value.

Here are the five value perceptions of what your customers sub-consciously think in motivating them to buy from you:

Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge. Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.

Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.

Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”

Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business.

Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.

5. Be astute about the differences among advertising, engagement and just spinning your wheels.

Just because a prospect engages you, it doesn’t always lead to revenue. It’s an art to avoid the tire kickers while discerning which prospects will buy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

Prevent Buyer’s Remorse with 4 Precautions — In big-ticket sales — from consulting services to information technology — customer emotions run high. Buyer’s remorse will cost you a big sale. To prevent buyer’s remorse, you need to be a calming influence in order for the customer to understand you’re providing value.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling – It’s important to create new opportunities with successful cold calling. Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages.

7 Tips for Strong Results in Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs – As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success.  Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.   The ideal situation is to get sales leads via networking and referrals.

Is Your Company Underperforming in Marketing / Sales? Evaluate Your Culture – If you’re dissatisfied with your revenue, it’s time for an assessment of your culture’s operation. Why? Superior cultures drive business performance.

Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople – What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. Here are the top 18 attributes of the best salespeople.

“In sales, it’s not what you say; it’s how they perceive what you say.”

-Jeffrey Gitomer 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.



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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.