Prospecting for the New Year

Now is the best time to really ramp up your prospecting. More than likely, you have just come out with your 2015 sales goals and you may be scratching your head on how you’re going to reach them. Will it be by referrals, web leads, social media, pay per click, direct mail, email blasts or cold calling? All valid ways of driving new prospecting opportunities, but are they all effective?

Let’s discuss each one –

  1. Referrals – yes, this is the best type of lead you can get. The problem is, can you consistently rely on this type of business? It is true that a lot of you have grown your business by referrals but ask yourself: have there been times that I didn’t have any referrals, and wouldn’t it be better to have a consistent lead generating source?
  2. Web leads, social media, pay per click – again, this is an excellent place to get leads, but are these qualified? When you rely on these types of leads, you never know who is coming to you, and you’re not proactively going to them. Yes, you can get some good opportunities, but is the cost per lead really worth it? Does it make sense to drive to an appointment 30 minutes to an hour away to find out that they aren’t even a fit for your company?
  3. Direct mail and email blasts – this is a great place to get leads, but direct mail can be extremely expensive and email blasts have an extremely low response rate. Yes, you can target your market, but you are at the mercy of them calling you, so you’re playing the waiting game.
  4. Cold calling – this may be the oldest trick in the book but, guess what: it is still one of the best, if you have a good quality list to call on (if you don’t go out to sources like data.com or Sales Genie to get a list to start with). You can typically filter out the businesses that fall into your target market and then you can call through the list to make sure they are all a good fit for your business. Once you do this, it’s just the timing and waiting game. You control the outcome for the most part. If done correctly with the right follow-up and nurturing of the leads in your database, cold calling can be the most effective riffle approach to gain new customers during the upcoming year.

The biggest takeaway from this article is that you have to prospect, the customers aren’t just going to come knocking on your door. The more consistent that you do this, the more opportunities you will be able to generate throughout the year.

Good luck!