In sales skills terminology, "prospecting" often means looking for industrial parks and the like, then doing a quick sweep in order to rapidly scan and flush out potential prospects.
In those sweeps, you speak briefly with the receptionist or secretary to make a quick determination of whether it is worth calling back to see the Decision Maker.
Just what information you are looking for at this early stage of your search for viable leads will vary with your product and the market. The checklist below is a starting point; adapt it to your own uses.
Checklist: The Kinds of Information to be Looking for When Cold Calling
Continue reading Prospecting for leads and other useful information via cold calling: essential info to be looking for
Cold calls as a sales method
Good sales can flow from cold calls. While cold-calling should NOT be your primary way of approaching new prospects, there will be times when it is appropriate as a selling tool.
For example, if you have open time between scheduled calls, consider using it to "smoke-stack" for other leads. (The term arose when sales people would drive around looking for factory smoke-stacks to guide them to industrial prospects. Now most smoke-stacking is done by scanning the list of tenants at the elevators of office towers and entrances to commercial parks.)
You may spot a possible prospect, and knock on the door in the hope
Continue reading Cold calling: when you CAN use it as a way to make the sale
Cold call sales overview
Cold call sales involve dropping in on prospects without an appointment, either with the objective of going for a sale, or of collecting research for a later call-back. (Or, phoning people more or less at random is another form of sales cold-calling.)
The fact is, cold-calls are usually not a good use of your time when selling. You can waste a lot of productive time waiting in reception areas for an opening to see the Decision Maker.
Continue reading Cold call selling overview: when, when not, how, why
Prospecting, as we use the word in sales, is looking for potential buyers. But sales prospecting is also about screening out those who will not likely be viable prospects, at least not this time 'round.
Keep in mind those prospectors out west in the Great Gold Rush of '49. They spent months and years
Continue reading Sales prospecting by phone: when and how to back off if you find this prospect is not viable
Finding sales prospects, first basic rule: You can make a sale only if you deal with the person who can say Yes to what you offer.
That’s obvious enough, especially if you’re selling to individuals.
But it’s more difficult if you’re selling to organizations. The selling skills you use in finding prospects within organizations in both the public and private sectors is more complicated, as
Continue reading Finding sales prospects: three basic rules for locating the decision maker who can in fact say yes to what you offer
Just what IS a buying signal?
A buying signal is some kind of often subtle signal that the mood has shifted and the other person is now ready to agree . . . or at least to be open to what you propose.
In other words, a "buying signal" may signal readiness to . . .
Continue reading Buying signals
Buying signals from the gatekeeper or screen: What kinds of cues should you be alert for? (For the record, gatekeeper and screen are usually interchangeable terms, and may apply to anyone from the guard at the gate, to the secretary, to the Decision Maker's personal assistant.)
Continue reading Buying signals gatekeeper: cues to be alert for
Telephone etiquette with the gatekeeper or secretarial screen . . . professional ways of speaking with, and maybe even winning the gatekeeper as an ally.
Continue reading Telephone etiquette with the gatekeeper or secretarial screen
First, what is cold-call selling?
Cold calling can be by phone, as you telephone prospects for appointments, or maybe to do some early research. (Telephone cold calling is a topic we'll be dealing with another time.)
What we'll be speaking of here are cold-calls made in person.
Continue reading Cold call sales: best uses
Suppose you're a consultant looking to sell your expertise as a trainer in a certain field— perhaps how to comply with new federal regulations, or how to improve the effectiveness of customer care departments. Since it's about training, you might think that the training department is the place to make your first contact.
Well, maybe. But, then again, maybe not.
Continue reading When and when not to begin your sales contact with the training or personnel departments