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A Simple Business Development Idea

"They can't buy from you if they don't know you exist"

  1. Make a list of your best customers.

  2. Then using directories or the internet find other companies which are similar to the ones you have just listed.

  3. If there are more companies with which you are not yet in contact than those with whom you are, the way forward is clear: you must let them know who you are and what you do. It's obvious that if they are unaware of your existence, they will never come to you with an enquiry.

  4. Prioritise the new list by identifying prospects where the likelihood of good business is greatest.

  5. If the number of new prospects is 100 or less, the contact method which will produce the best results for you is with an initial phone call, followed by sending information either as an email or hard copy, followed up with a phone call a few days later to see if there is interest.

  6. With bigger numbers of prospects, if the value of a typical order justifies it, mail a sales letter. With lower value items, email or fax are possible alternatives, but bear in mind spam issues.

When enough prospects know that you exist, are available and competent in your specialised field, some work will come in. Whatever you offer, if you make enough contacts, your message will reach at least a few people who are currently interested. These ones may give you an order if you follow up well.

But there is a far larger number of potential customers who have a degree of interest but for whom the timing is not quite right. If you continue to make contact with this group, many of them will become your customers later on. By then they will have seen your name and message several times and the moment will come for some of them when they need what you do.

A percentage of those your message reaches will never buy. But that doesn't matter, you can always include a line in your piece which says, ''f you don't wish to receive information about . . . ' 

Once you have orders, keep this process going - either be prospecting or doing work for clients. Make contact with all prospects and customers at least 3 times a year. Do not stop the prospecting or you will lapse into a feast-or-famine roller coaster.

None of this is very hard or expensive and few of your competitors will be doing it, all it takes to succeed is sufficient motivation.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at my book.

How to Motivate Sales People manual


And if another challenge facing your business is recruiting an effective salesperson, see also:


How to Hire a Really Good Technical Sales Engineer



More articles on better selling




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