Every sales professional needs to find more customers. If you’re new in your territory or sell a new product line, you need lots of new customers. If you have an established customer base, you need new ones to replace the customers who stop buying. Read on to learn about six short cuts to finding new customers easily and profitably.
1) Identify Your Best Customer
Figure out — in detail — the characteristics of your best prospect to identify who to target. To get you started, answer these questions:
What is their role in the organization?
What job titles do they hold?
What is their average age?
Is there more of one gender or another?
What outcome do they need that your product will deliver?
What are they paying now to get that outcome?
What would it be worth to get a better outcome or a less expensive outcome?
What would it cost if they did nothing?
What are the problems you can eliminate that they face getting that outcome?
What is the biggest pain that they have with their current vendor?
What can you help them do that they can’t do today?
What motivates them to make a decision?
How do they keep their job?
This last question is most important because it is often your buyer’s driving motivation. In general, people are first interested in doing things that ensure job security.
2) Create a Powerful Conversation Starter
Most sales pros call this an elevator pitch. In reality, nothing has ever been sold in an elevator except in Las Vegas.
I prefer the term “conversation starter” because that’s what you want to do. Your goal is to grab their attention and book a meeting to move to the next step in the sale.
The best conversation starters focus on the benefits to your best prospect and tap right in to the last question above about their driving motivation.
A well-crafted conversation starter will make a qualified prospect say, “Tell me more!”
These phrases don’t get into the “how” of what you’re selling, but start with the “what” and “why” of your offering. Lead with the need, not the product.
For example, if you want to sell desktop virtualization to an IT director (this is a way to provide PC functionality on a mobile device, like a tablet or netbook), use a conversation starter like this:
“You know that desktop virtualization is gaining popularity and there are lots of reasons why. You know that it’s just a matter of time before you bring it into your shop.”
“What if I could show you a way to evolve to desktop virtualization using what you have right now. And it won’t cost you any more than what you’re spending. If in fact, it will probably cost less.”
“And what if you could increase your up time and security, and decrease the amount of support required by your users. What would that mean to you and your organization?”
This conversation starter highlights the benefits that IT directors want most.
3) Ask Everyone, “Who can you think of…”
Start by calling everyone on in your contact list — or in your cell phone directory – and ask, “I’m looking for people who want to [your benefits and outcome]. Who can you think of that would find this valuable?”
If they can’t think of any one, say, “That’s fine. When you think of someone in the next day, would you please let me know?”
When they have someone in mind, say, “Great! What’s the best way for me to connect with them? Would you introduce us?”
You can use this short cut with everyone you meet, even with prospects that end up choosing not to buy from you.
4) Don’t Qualify, Disqualify
You only want to spend time talking with people who care about the outcome that you’re selling. Ignore everybody else.
Most sales people attempt to qualify a prospect by asking if they are part of a decision making team. The problem here is that almost everyone will claim to be on the decision making team, whether they are or not. This is not a shortcut.
Identify the decision maker with the question, “How do you plan and budget for [your product]?”
For example, to continue the scenario above, ask, “How do you plan and budget for your virtual desktop deployment?”
Most people will say, “That’s not my job!”
Perfect! They are disqualified and you don’t waste their time — nor yours — with them.
Ask, “Who is responsible for that?” They’ll tell you, with no reservations.
This short cut has just taken you directly to the strategic decision maker because planning and budgeting are strategic behaviors.
5) Just Ask
After you’ve asked the strategic decision maker, “How do you plan and budget…” follow up with, “How would you like that to change?”
Their answer is your shortcut to the immediate sales opportunity. If you can help them what they want to change, they are likely to be motivated to make that change sooner instead of later.
It’s possible that that’s all you need to do to find a good prospect.
6) Sharpen Your Sales Skills
Get really good at professional selling. Even old pros need a tune up. We can help you build or restore your sales skills. Contact us to learn how.