THE COACH

by Frank Minutolo

In our last column we spent time identifying the ideal customer.  We need to take this information and develop our target market.   This would be the person or company that would most likely need our product or service.

If you have any questions about this or want information on another topic don’t hesitate to contact Frank Minutolo at  “mailto:tsg973@aol.com” tsg973@aol.com.

This is a very important step and ample time should be spent in describing your ideal customer.  You may have more than one type of customer so you would need to describe the ideal customer for each category.  For example if you were in real estate you might have residential customers, commercial customers, rental and purchase customers, etc.

Once you have done a good job of identifying your target customer you need to develop a list of them in your marketing area.  Lists may be available from Chambers of Commerce, associations, yellow pages etc.  There are also a number of companies that will sell you specific lists.  One of these companies is “http://www.salesgenie.com” www.salesgenie.com.

Now, how do we contact them and how many calls do we do per week, or month? For an initial phone call, a script will need to be developed.

For e-mail, develop content marketing piece; fax; or regular mail.

When retaining data collected in a CRM (customer relations management ) program such as Act or Daylite, it is important to build your own data base of prospects over time.  Therefore, using a program such as ACT gives you the ability to capture information about each prospect whenever you contact them.  It is a discipline that is invaluable and will provide you with a viable prospect list.

Developing Prospects

The sales process needs to be an ongoing, long term, process.  It is important to develop and maintain the prospects contact information so that you can send them information on a monthly basis.  The company may not need your services today but you want to stay in the forefront of their minds so that when a need does come up your company comes to mind.  Developing newsletters, videos, and other informational pieces that is of value to them is important.  The prospect then starts to see you as an expert in your area and not just a vendor.

Interrupt, Engage, Educate, Offer

Interrupt

Get attention by using something that is relevant.  Use hot buttons. It depends on who you are emailing or writing.  If you are using email you must use a subject line that will get their attention.  For example:

Will you survive the new economy?

What if this is the new normal?

Are you just waiting to see what happens?

Is your business falling apart?

Engage

Promise information to facilitate decision-making. Again this must be specific to your company.

Here are the four questions you need to answer to feel comfortable about. This is where you put in something specific to your offering.

1.  How do you find the right company to deal with?

2. What is included in the price quoted to you?

3.  Are there any hidden or upfront costs?

4. What technical assistance is provided?

Educate 

Email or call us for your complimentary copy of :  Offer something that is free and should be of value to your targeted account.

Educate on important and relevant issues and build a case for your company.

Offer

Provide a low risk offer that will encourage the prospect make a decision now.

Steps of the Sale

Each company must develop the steps of the sale for each type of customer.  If you review the steps you went thru in prior sales this will start to clear up.  How do you get a prospects attention?  What level of person normally needs to be involved in the decision?  Is a demonstration needed? Is a proposal normally required?  Do you use references?  Do you get your foot in the door with a small trial order?  All of this is important so that you can develop the metrics and have the ability to forecast sales.  You cannot manage sales results but you can manage the activities needed to get the desired results.

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