A prospect is a qualified person or organization that has the opportunity to buy your goods or service. The name of a person or organization that might be a prospect is called a lead.
What is Lead?
A Lead can be referred to as a suspect, indicating that the person or organization is suspected of being a prospect.
Once a lead is identified and qualified it becomes a prospect.
Prospecting - MAD
How do you determine a prospect is qualified?
Does the prospect have the M ONEY to buy?
Does the prospect have the A UTHORITY to buy?
Does the prospect have the D ESIRE to buy?
To denote this an acronym MAD is used as memory recollection aid.
Quickly obtain the prospect’s attraction.
Develop keen interest in your product.
Create a burning desire to fulfill the customers’ needs.
Establish the prospect’s conviction that the product fulfills a personal need.
Finally seek action by having the prospect purchase the product.
Prospecting –Prospect Mental Steps
Prospecting – The Prospect’s Mental Steps
The prospect’s five mental steps in buying.
The Prospect’s Mental Steps If the prospect is satisfied, plan the most suitable method of asking the prospect to make a purchase. If you as the salesperson have engaged effectively in all your preceding steps, closing the sales would be very easy. Step 5 Action by Purchase Prospects may desire a product, but they still need to be convinced that your product is most suitable for their needs. At this stage the salesperson develop a strong belief that the product is best suited to the prospect’s specific needs. Conviction arises when there are no doubts about the product. Step 4 Conviction Desire begins to develop based on information and evaluation of product features, advantages and benefits. This is due to forming positive attitudes that the product may fulfil needs or solve problems. Positive attitudes brought about by knowledge obtained through presentation. Step 3 Desire First determine the prospect’s important buying motives. This can help in capturing interest. You may have to do this well in advance or prior to your presentation by asking questions. The prospect’s interest will grow if they listen and enter into discussion with the salesperson. Step 2 Interest
Try at all times to capture and maintain the prospect’s attention. At times this may be difficult if the prospect faces :
Lack of sufficient time
Lack of awareness or interest
Carefully plan what you have to say and how to say. Move quickly to step 2 to sustain the prospect’s interest.
Step 1 Attention THE PROSPECT”S MENTAL STEPS
Sourcing for Prospects Internet & World Wide Web Visible Accounts Sales Seminar Commercial lead lists Non competing Salespeople Spotters Telephone inquiries Organisation Trade shows Advertising inquiries Canters of Influence Cold Canvassing Lists and Directories Introduction Observation Company Records Referral Personal Contact Sources Internal sources External sources
External Sources (1)
The name of a company or person provided to the salesperson as a lead by a customer or prospect who did not buy.
The salesperson asks the prospect or customer a note or letter of introduction that can be sent to potential customer.
Centre of Influence
The salesperson can secure prospects and leads through a person of prominence, a person of high status in society.
External Sources (2)
Membership to various organization
Salespeople like to join various organization to:
Gain access to potential customers.
Access to a circle of influential people.
Salespeople must avoid the grab and take opportunity.
They must be able contribute and help towards the organization’s mission.
They must be sincere, otherwise they may lose access to this organization.
External Sources (3)
Non competing Salespeople (NC Salespeople)
Salespeople who supply the potential customer with other product or service but are not in direct competition with your company.
NC Salespeople have access to a valuable of untapped potential customers.
Could provide valuable source of information for the salesperson prospecting.
External Sources (4)
Doing business with society’s larger companies such as for example Maybank, TNB, MAS,TM, Proton, Perodua, Naza Automobile
Large business are called key accounts if they make up a large part of the business contributed to the salesperson’s company.
Internal Sources (1)
Past records of company are a source of information.
Company records will inform:
The number of previous customers no longer with the company.
The probable reason why the customers left.
The credit rating of customers.
Customers buying track record.
Customer payment record.
Credit facilities provided by the company to the customer.
Any bad debts outstanding and unsettled by customers
Internal Sources (2)
List and Directories
Telephone books, Yellow Pages, Business Directories, Industrial Directories, Professional Directories and Career Directories and other related directories available in Malaysia.
Internal Sources (3)
Manufacturers will engage in informative advertising.
Salesperson will follow suit upon receiving a lead
Salesperson to provide more information by giving a presentation.
Advertising helps to create a potential prospect.
Internal Sources (4)
Business telephone inquiries are classified into:
Internal Sources (5)
Inbound Telemarketing – A prospect or potential customer calls Toll Free No. to make an inquiry about company products and service available.
A telephonist answer the call and provide the information required by the caller.
Any customer service problems that arise will be redirected to the person responsible for the particular problem.
Internal Sources (6)
A company salesperson calls the prospect to inquire, determine a time to call at the prospect’s office or premise to discuss the business inquiry further.
Internal Sources (7)
Commercial lead list
A list of names, address, phone numbers to more detailed listing with a full profile of the different personalities of customers.
Internal Sources (8)
Internet and the World Wide Web
Web is a popular source of information to attract potential customers.
Web is a collection of information about the company, which includes company profile, product details, prices and how to order or contact the salesperson if there is an interest on the part of the prospect.
Personal Contract Sources
Observation on the part of the salesperson can help to detect the names of potential customers in a locality, office or business premises.
Personal Contact Sources (2)
Cold canvassing/Cold calling
Most difficult of all selling approach.
Salesperson is in a disadvantage because :
The potential prospect will not welcome any cold calling.
No prior knowledge of the company or the product is made known to the potential prospect.
Used as a last resort sales approach by the salesperson.
Requires tremendous effort on the part of the salesperson.
New rookie salesperson may lack the tenacity and determination to use this type of sales approach, and may bow out from the sales profession.
Personal Contact Sources (3)
Acts as a catalyst to draw leads and prospects to company’s display booth.
The prospect’s personal data can be store in database system.
The actual sales may not materialize there in the trade show, but will arise sometime in the near future
The possibility of a sale materializing is very strong.
Personal Contact Sources (3)
Bird Dogs (Spotters)
Individuals (runners/touts) who provide a lead for a fee.
Piece meal – pay for each lead provided and purchase made.
Introduction fee may be charged for each introduction, whether sales is made or not.
Personal Contact Sources (4)
Salesperson may choose to organize an introductory seminar for free for the public.
Once the seminar is over, the participant details are given to the clerk or registrar at the reception.
The seminar must be very professional, informative and convincing to attract the lead to sign up for the product or service.
Strategic prospecting is usually a series of sequential activities designed to:
Organization and individuals that have the need for and potential to purchase the salesperson’s market offering of products and services.
What is Strategic Prospecting (SP) ?
SP is actually series of sequential (one after another) activities designed to: identify , qualify and prioritize organization and individuals that have the need and potential to purchase’s market offering of products and services
This prospecting process helps to determine whether the buyer has the potential to buy the organization’s products or services.
A lead is simply a potential candidate that may or may not prove to be a potential (valid) prospect.
The potential or value of the buyer candidate is determined through a process called qualifying a lead.
In the next stage of the prospecting process, the salesperson searches out collects and analyses information gathered to determine the viability of the lead- “ Does the lead has the capability to make a purchasing decision?”
Only those leads that pass these initial screening decisions are true prospects.
Strategic Prospecting (3)
Prospecting is an important element in the selling process.
Prospecting has to be done on a regular basis.
Customers may lose interest due to:
Changes in Market conditions.
There is inadequate demand for the product by local customers, but far too many sellers.
Demand is there but too much competition between sellers seeking a handful of buyers.
Prospecting Plan(1) The Strategic Prospecting Plan sets goals, allocates specific times to be used to prospecting , and continuously evaluate results in order to maximize the effectiveness of prospecting time and effort
A tracking system helps a salesperson accomplish formalized goals.
Helps the salesperson to track their performance.
A tracking system can use:
A computerized online contact mgt system.
OR A customer relationship mgt software application
Screenshot of Online CRM Page
A tracking system contain information such as:-
The personal background of the prospect
The Prospecting method used.
Chronological (date by date) archive of outcome information with the prospect or customers.
Analysis and evaluation of the prospecting activities.
Information on product knowledge, competitor’s information is available and current.
This is to help the salesperson provide better service and product knowledge to the prospect.
Personal Qualities of Salespeople
A salesperson using this prospecting plan would show following attributes:
Having a strong self confidence
Has the ability to exercise judgement and set priorities in prospecting.
This qualities would in turn make him more productive and effective in their sales output.
Three criteria could be used in developing the best prospecting method that require your actions:
Customize or choose a prospecting method that fits the specific of your company.
Focus on customers that have high potential to make a buy.
Try calling back prospects who did not buy.
Do not be happy just with current batch of customers, start looking for new customers.
Be persistent and keep knocking on your prospects and customer’s door to help solve their problems that may arise. This is only the salesperson can maximize his long term sales and personal income.
Using Referral in Prospecting Method.
Learn to ask for referrals, do not be reluctant to ask.
Asking for and getting referrals would increase your sales.
Referrals can be used directly in:
Endless chain customer referrals
Sales lead clubs
Public exhibitions and demonstration
Centre of influence
The Prospect Pool(1) Component of the prospect pool
The Prospect Pool(2)
The diagram (Slide 37) of prospect pool is created from four main sources:-
Leads – People and organization not known or there is hardly any information in your company about them.
Referrals – people or organization very little is known about them, other than the information provided by the referral.
Orphans – Company records provide your only information about these past customers.
Your customers – the most important prospects for future sales.
The Referral Cycle(1)
The Referral Cycle(2)
To obtain referrals is a continuous process.
The referral cycle provide guidelines for a salesperson to ask for referrals in four common situation as explained in the previous diagram:
If you have a sales presentation at 10.00 am in the morning you may start the referral cycle at the presentation phase of the cycle.
Salespeople must not only sell but must be able to convince the prospect to provide referrals.
Salespeople must conform to certain social etiquettes and behaviorism to secure sales and referrals.
The Referral Cycle(3)
The reasons why some customers may not want to provide referrals to the salesperson because:
Clients are afraid of upsetting friends and relatives
Clients do want friends to know that they are talking about them.
Clients may have faith in the product but not in the salesperson.
Client fear the salesperson may not be around to after a few years of service.
Clients are not keen to provide referrals and how it benefits them.
Preapproach – step in the selling process in which the sales person investigates the prospect in greater depth and plans the sales call.
What steps can a salesperson take at this stage?
Do not give the impression that you intend to sell something to prospect, instead cultivate good relationship.
If there is no interest shown on the part of the prospect, don’t waste time move to a new prospect.
Getting a referral would help gain greater respect admiration from prospect and chances of success in your sales.
The salesperson’s presentation may vary from industry to industry.
Sales Presentation can be anything from making an appointment, conducting a sales interview or having a meeting.
During a presentation you have good chance to convince your prospect.
Your prospect may assess you by observing your non verbal communication during your presentation.
You should not hesitate to seek referrals, not until the presentation is to end.
Use this stage of the presentation to gain the confidence of the prospect. Seek for referrals and mention the person who had referred you to the prospect.
The process of giving reference helps to avoid any early probable objections.
Working with referrals helps to gain a foothold in a prospect’s understanding and confidence
You should proceed to speed up the process.
Using your referral or using positive gestures, body language would help the prospect to acknowledge you acceptable.
Explain your intention briefly to your prospect.
To enhance your presentation you may use any audio visual equipments or other related facilities.
Salesperson making the presentation to the prospect
This is stage where the product will be delivered. This also moment where it is very memorable to both salesperson and the prospect.
Real Estate Agent handing over property to the customer Car Salesman handing over the car to the customer Happy closing of a sale
Service and Follow Up(1)
What is Customer Service?
The degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize the organization.
Refers to the identifiable, but sometimes intangible, activities undertaken by a retailer in conjunction with the basic goods and services it sells.
a primary activity associated with after-sale support to enhance or to maintain the value of the product or service.
Customer service is the set of behaviors that a business undertakes during its interaction with its customers. It can also refer to a specific person or desk which is set up to provide general assistance to customers.
Service and Follow Up(2)
The quality of service offered and the follow up with the customer during the referral cycle provides you with ongoing opportunities.
More contact with customer more likely to get new referrals.
High quality service helps create a very professional and caring image that customers like and look forward from the company and the salespeople.
Service and Follow Up(3)
Customer relationship must be sustained and prolonged. If customer relationship ends it’s because:
The type of the product or service does not require further or follow up service.
The Salesperson lacks the time to follow up with the customer.
The customer service is below par, not to the level of the customer’s expectation.
Service and Follow Up(4)
Salesperson or associate should not discredit a referral.
By doing so you may lose the confidence of the referring customer and potential prospect (the referral).
The referrals can be your source of endless chain product support and endorsement.
The Reluctance Cost(1)
What is Call Reluctance?
Call Reluctance is the belief of salesperson of not wanting to contact a prospect or customer based on salesperson’s perception and prejudice that the lead has no potential to become a prospect.
Call Reluctance (2)
What action can be taken to overcome Call Reluctance?
Firstly acknowledge there is a problem and this is causing lost of sales revenue.
The salesperson should be affirmative and not pessimistic of any prospect.
Be persistent but ensure to make a prior appointment.
Sales Interview (1)
What is Sales Interview?
The sales interview is a specific type of convincing interview where the interviewer gets and conducts interviews with one or more "clients" to gather evidence to use when making persuasive sales attempts.
Sales interviews are conducted in a variety of business including retail sales, insurance, motor vehicle, and any other situation where a salesperson interacts with customers or client.
Sales Interview (2)
What is the purpose of Sales Interview?
The sales interview helps you to use interviewing skills to gather prospect/customer related information during a persuasive questioning.
Information received help to determine the creditability and the viability of the prospect.
Information is used to assess whether the prospect is a suitable candidate to do business with.
The practice of making an appointment prior to visiting a prospect’s office can save the salesperson valuable time.
An appointment made is to set a time to set aside by the prospect to listen and talk to the salesperson.
The Salesperson must be provided adequate time to explain a sales proposition or sales presentation.
This helps the salesperson make a more effective proposition and thus making the sale.
Better time management and appointment scheduling would help the salesperson realize the corporate and personal goal.
Making a telephone appointment may seem simple but it is not so.
Business executives are normally busy and their time is scarce.
They may assign this responsibility to the their personal assistant or secretary.
Some executives may give specific instruction to the receptionist at the front office to accept or not accept certain calls from outsiders.
Telephone tactics to get an appointment
Plan and write down what you want say during your telephone conversation.
Make your message clear and concise, use the K.I.S.S (Keep it simple and straight) approach.
Identify yourself and the company you represent to the prospect or their rep.
State the purpose of your call quickly and briefly and how the prospect may benefit.
Prepare a brief sales message, giving importance to FAB (Features, Advantages & Benefits)
Be persistent and don’t take no for answer, even if there is negative response from the prospect or their reps.
Use a question nor a directive as means to communicate. Refer to example shown in the manual.
Making an appointment in person
The office or the access to the company executive may be restricted by:-
Steps taken by salesperson to overcome the filtration system
The Salesperson must be very determined to secure the sales.
The Salesperson acts in a positive manner, believes that whatever action taken by him will increase his chance of success.
Build a rapport with the various people involved in the filtration system.
Sincerely makes an effort to improve the time management of the selling process from the start to the closing of sale.
The Salesperson must ensure that he or she is seeing the right person (buyer) who can make decision to make the purchase.