Monday, October 30, 2006

10 Ways To Find More Prospects (Part 5/10)

Leverage Your Client’s Supply Chain (Part 5/10). The idea here is to prospect amongst your client’s customers, suppliers, partners or competitors. In other words, look for sales opportunities in your client’s “business eco-system”. Let me give you 3 simple examples of how you can do this.
Client’s Customers: Suppose that one of your customers supplies their services to the maritime shipping industry. Your company sells a software solution for Human Resource Management that is perfect for managing the crewing of large maritime fleets. Ask your client for an introduction to 3 of their largest maritime shipping customers.
Client’s Suppliers: Another one of your clients uses PCs from a major PC manufacturer. Your HR management system runs most economically and reliably on certain configurations of that hardware manufacturer’s machines. Ask your client for an introduction to that Hardware Vendor, then propose your solution to the Hardware Vendor’s channel partners as an turn-key solution to meet their customer’s HR Management needs.
Client’s Competitors: Your client’s competitors are also excellent targets for you to prospect. Often they have the same or similar business problems and you have firsthand experience of how your solution helps solve these problems. In addition to being an established supplier in their sector, you have a reference customer who is a respected competitor.
Navigate your client’s supply chain and you will uncover a gold mine of prospecting opportunities for your products and services. Good Luck and remember Always Be Prospecting.
Part 5/10 in French

Monday, October 23, 2006

10 Ways To Find More Prospects (Part 4/10)

Speeches and Public Appearances (Part 4/10). Here is one of my favorite prospecting ideas, which I have used successfully for many years and I can assure you that it works. Create leads by making speeches and other public appearances. This requires becoming a subject matter expert in your chosen field. This is easier than you may think. Chose an area of interest that you are knowledgeable and passionate about, or chose an area of interest that you clearly know more about than most people. Then accept every opportunity you can get to address a group, speak on your subject, be part of a panel, or participate in a discussion group, etc. It’s all high visibility exposure and that is exactly what you’re looking for.
People will come up to you afterwards and give you their business cards. This is reverse psychology at its best. After you have spoken to a group you are no longer the same person. You have been transformed into an expert, a guru, somehow you have become super human. This makes everyone want to meet you, talk to you, and get your business card. Take plenty with you. Use this technique to create pull, rather than push. So put the odds in your favor. You’ll have people truly hoping that you will contact them as a result of your brief exchange of business cards. Good Luck and remember Always Be Prospecting.
Part 4/10 in French

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lead Generation - No. 1 Sales Management Priority for 2006

The Harvard Business Review July-August 2006 issue featured a number of thought leadership articles on sales. This week I met Jim Dickie who co-authored one of those articles entitled "Understanding What Your Sales Manager Is Up Against." Barry is a partner at CSOInsights who specialise in benchmarking the challenges faced by today’s sales and marketing organizations. CSOInsights track trends in the use of people, process, technology and knowledge to improve sales effectiveness.
The 3 "Take Aways" for me from our discussion were:
1) Revenue Growth has become the No. 1. Priority for Executive Management for the first time in 5 years.
2) Optimising Lead-Generation Programs is the No. 1 Priority for Top Sales Management this year.
3) The July-August issue of HBR on Sales generated significantly greater than normal interest from readers, measured by the number of article reprints ordered.
All this goes to show that Sales is where it all begins and propsecting is where the sale starts. Remember Always Be Prospecting.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

10 Ways To Find More Prospects (Part 3/10)

Networking on the Web (Part3/10). Today we all have access to an extraordinary range of powerful web based tools to search out opportunities and prospects. You can use web search tools with laser precision to target new prospects. You can google your way to anyone. In addition you can search extremely effectively for example by searching Industry and Association Websites or Networking Websites, such as Linked-in, OpenBC, or Viaduc.
Maximise your chances of success. Recently I ran a search in Linked-in of all people in High Tech, based in Paris, and ordered them based on the number of people in their personal networks. My goal was to meet those individuals with the largest personal networks because they can introduce me to greatest number of their contacts (‘n+1 thinking’). Several weeks ago, on a flight from Stockholm to Paris I sat next to the French Country Manager of OpenBC, Yann Mauchamp. Yann is a professional and takes his business very seriously. He has over 3,500 people in his personal network of professional contacts. Now that’s the sort person that I want to know. With friends like this, being a prospecting machine has never been easier. Good Luck and remember Always Be Prospecting
Part 3/10 in French

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Teaching Elephants How To Dance

This week I was speaking to a group of Business Executives at the Paris Country Club about the Power Of Partnerships. I was invited to address the group by two KPMs (Key Partner Managers). The KPMs are tasked with bringing together their organisation and their Partner Organisation around specific customer engagements. These are large and complex organisations (Elephants) and bringing them together in an effective way is like "Teaching Elephants How To Dance". The desired outcome of "Dance School" is to make a joint Value Proposition that is perfectly aligned with the customers requirements and delivers a true fit for purpose solution. This takes mutual commitment, shared expectations, co-ordination and teamwork that continues on long after the sale in made.

Friday, October 06, 2006

10 Ways To Find More Prospects (Part 2/10)

The Magic of Networking (Part 2/10). In fact prospecting is networking with a purpose. To be a successful networker you need to meet as many people as you can, have a clear objective in mind for each meeting and have an “n + 1” belief system. That is never expect to be talking to someone who is directly a prospect for your products or services, but be sure that person will know at least one person who is a potential prospect. And it is this person that you want to make contact with, meet and ultimately make a your proposal to.
How do I become good at networking? Firstly, I suggest that you join one or two networking groups such as business groups or business luncheons, eg. Lunch @ Circle, business clubs, associations, special interest groups, eg. Toastmasters International, School or University Alumni’s. Secondly, start a file of meeting participant and keep updating it regularly. Thirdly, make a conscientious effort to keep your network active by maintaining regular contact and expand it with new contacts. Find ways to add value to your contacts by thinking of ways that you can help them. ‘Give before you get’ is the mind-set for success in networking. Your effort will be rewarded generously over time. Finally, make it a habit. Good luck and remember, Always be Networking and you will Always Be Prospecting.
Part 2/10 in French

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

10 Ways To Find More Prospects (Part 1/10)

Conferences, Exhibitions & Trade Shows (Part 1/10). Conventional thinking in prospecting says use all the traditional approaches such as Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Periodicals, Reviews, Newsletters, etc. My experience has shown me that conventional approaches produce very conventional results, which are usually inadequate to transform your success in sales today. Here is one very simple technique that I use and have found very successful. It is easy to do, inexpensive and it works. Try it and see how many qualified prospects you can identify for an investment of 3 hours of your time.
Conferences, Exhibitions & Trade Shows. Participate in as many of these events as you can. Industry Events that are for your target customers or related to your target customers business are a prospector’s gold mine. Simply spend time there talking to people. Talk to everyone that you can. From conference attendees, to people that you meet during coffee breaks, to Conference Speakers and Panelists. At Exhibitions and Trade Shows talk to exhibitors, sales people on exhibitor booths and people you meet on the exhibition floor. Sales people are dying to tell you about what they do, their company and their products. Let them sell to you. Learn from them about their industry, the key Industry Players, their sales arguments, their positioning and whenever possible find out their PAIN points. You will go home with a rolodex of business cards. The Exhibitor Catalogue is a prospector's bible. Good luck and remember, Always Be Prospecting.
Part 1/10 in French