You can be a master of every other skill, but unless you have mastered the skill of prospecting, you will not make much of a living. Prospecting is the most important skill in your business and the most neglected. Therefore, if you want to win more and build your business team bigger then you must be a master prospector. The process of finding prospects in to your business must become a way of life. You must see people and situations in a prospecting sense. Ever alert to the possibilities and opportunities that present themselves every minutes of the day.
There are methods of prospecting that would help you master and learn the skill of prospecting. This methods of prospecting are based on sales methods since we are also in the sales business therefore it is also applicable in our business environment. Learning sales skills and having a mindset of a business owner is essential to the success of your business.
The main methods are cold calling, observation prospecting, referral prospecting, and center of influence prospecting or commonly called hot prospects, and servicing existing clients. Before we consider each one of this method it is important to emphasis that the first need in prospecting is to have a total knowledge of what your product or services and your business opportunity can do for those who buy or join it. Being a good prospector means looking beyond the obvious; it means having a clear picture of your prospects and a feel for what you offer that translate into a creative thinking.
COLD CALLING – cold calling is often the first method used by newbie’s because they have not enough experience or time to build up the other method. Cold calling is an art in itself. It requires the ability to think one one’s feet and a willingness to call on strangers. The most effective way is to have a presentation backed up with attention grabbing visuals and to call on those you perceive to have the need around which your presentation has been build. In order to make cold calling effective, you need to master the art of making approaches. Cold calling rely on list of names or organization, or they go to locations and look for those who have a need of what they offer.
OBSERVATION PROSPECTING- Observation prospecting is the ability to make sound prospecting judgments base on what you see. For this method to work, you need to become more than a casual observer. Looking for prospects has to become a way of life for you. Wherever you go, wherever you are, your frame of mind must be one of constantly looking for prospects. In shopping centers, schools, clubs organizations. All the time you are looking for people who would need your service or product or opportunity. Do not just be a looker, be a careful observer. Look for their needs and try to get their names and build relations with them before you make the move to introduce your opportunity or your products. No matter what business you are in, observation prospecting is one of the most powerful tools for finding prospects. Doing business is not always about products, services or the business opportunity; on many occasions it is about unrelated things we do to show that are main interest is to help our prospects succeed in their lives. Look for changes in the lives of the person. Changes make people receptive to thinking about their situation. They can lose a job, or a need of extra cash to cope up with the expense in their daily lives. Whenever changes occur, possibilities exist for you, because those who are part of the change are open to new possibilities and most so are likely to be receptive to suggestion. You need to be constantly alert to opportunities.
REFERRAL PROSPECTING- Referral prospecting is one of the most effective methods of prospecting. Unfortunately, most people do not use them as often as they should. Many find it difficult to ask for referrals and tend to wait for them to come of their own accord. No matter what product or services your business provides, at the conclusion of every sale you must ask for referral leads. If you have done your job well and your customer or your prospect likes you and your service, they will consider it a compliment to be asked and most will respond by giving good names because they would relay like to help them by you. Every time you have a presentation most especially on a one on one presentation, wither you made a close/sale or not always end up by asking for referral. if you have made a good impression with your prospects and they are impressed with the way you went about in doing your business, even if they are unable to join you they will be willing to give you referrals because they believe you are the type of person people like to do business with. Research indicates that referral selling is the most powerful method of prospecting. The success of referrals lies in the recommendation given by the third-party. The introduction says to their friends or associates that it is okay for them to do business with you. Referral prospecting is twice as effective as any other method, yet many people do not do it because of the fear of rejection or do not want to be seen as being pushy.
CENTERS OF INFLUENCE PROSPECTING- Centers of influence, also called networking, is also highly successful method base on people’s tendency to help those who help them. Not everyone can buy and not everyone would join you, but if you could identify a group of people who you think could help you by referring prospects to you, then it is up to you to go about developing them as a center of influence. The golden rule for center of influence and referral prospecting is always go back on the prospects people have given you. Set up a schedule of visits to your center of influence. Do not always relay on the telephone to thank them. Pay them a visit give them compliments by bring them out to lunch. Always have a close contact with them not only when you needed them. Give them also updates on your business if there is new products give them brochures to read so they could be updated with your business. You need to cultivate a strong relationship with them always compliment them.
SERVICING EXISTING CLIENTS-, this method is very applicable to your exciting clients for your product or services. Many people neglect those who have become customers. They take them for granted, which is a sure way of losing them. Constantly review your clients need and wants. However, it is often difficult to understand your client’s wants and need. Make it a point that you schedule an appointment with them to help you be updated on the need of your clients. Call them on the phone thank them for doing business with you. Show them that you care about them this goes far beyond the products or service you offer them. If people fill they are not being valued they would desert you. The critical issue is always keeping in touch with them. LOSE A CUSTOMER YOU LOSE A SALE.
Activity is very important in prospecting, and you need to start close to home. People you know who you think needs your products or the opportunity you offer build list then contact them make a friend use FORM. The internet is a great tool to generate leads but that is not the only tool you should use… being in business for your self is going out there promoting your opportunity.