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Don’t treat all your prospects equally

By andrew on March 12, 2012

Our tip for today : don’t treat all your prospects equally. Notice I said prospects – not customers. Prospects are people who will be your cutomers in the future, they just aren’t yet! Think positive. My motto is “everyone is a customer, it’s just that some of them haven’t bought from you yet.”

You (very specifically) shouldn’t aim to contact all of your prospects with the same frequency. Your time is precious, and it should always be spent  in the direction where you’re likely to get the best return : the best chance of success.

Tips on sales prospecting by phone

Use different cycles for your prospecting calls - it's child's play

By all means keep in touch with as many prospects as you realistically can : even that one prospect who perhaps buys your product or service once a year, but spin those with good potential more often. Someone who buys your type of product or service regularly will probably need a call once every 3-4 months (depending on what you sell.) While you don’t want to call someone too frequently and irritate them, nevertheless you want to contact frequently enough so that you can start to build rapport.

1-5 classification

In our business, once we’ve spoken to a decision-maker, we grade the account with a number from 1-5 to denote it’s business potential. The definitions I use are ;

  • 1 – Good short-term potential for business here
  • 2 – Prospect for business over the coming months
  • 3 – Business is neither likely nor unlikely
  • 4 – Business is unlikely here at the moment
  • 5 – Business is unlikely here at any point

Using such a system allows you to easily and visually check your calls for potential. If you only have time to make 20 calls today, you should prioritise the 1s and 2s.

You can define these categories in any way you wish, but category 1s will include those proposals or quotes you’re following up – always remember to do this quickly. 2s are those where you’ve had a good conversation with a prospect who was talking in specific terms about reviewing it, changing supplier, discussing it with his / her boss etc.

Category 3s really are the middle ground, neither Yes nor No while category 4s have an application for your products or services but aren’t likely to buy at the moment : they’ve got no budget, they’re restructuring, they’re moving etc.

Category 5s are those where you consider whether you even want to be calling them. They don’t have much potential for your products or services and because of their size, or business process, or structure probably never will. You may want to add them to your e-mail list though for details of offers etc. And if they do buy, you want them to think of you.

In another post I’ll detail why 8 day call cycles help you manage your call pot too, but that’s for another day…..

If you want to find out more about how to manage your customer and prospect database to get more out of it and increase your chances of winning more business more often from more customers, call us on 01858 461148. We work with organisations around the Midlands and Eastern Counties including ; Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, Lichfield, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, St. Ives, Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby, Northampton, Leicester, Loughborough, Coalville, Melton Mowbray, Milton Keynes, Oakham, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford on Avon, Nottingham, Derby as well as wider parts of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, West Midlands and East Midlands.

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