The best thing about writing Sales Machine is you readers are a lot smarter than I am. As a result, this blog often gets comments that are full of practical wisdom. My recent post "How to Get Prospects in the Pipeline" elicited a brilliant response from "ndlicht1" (in real life sales guru Neil Licht.) Here's his comment, slightly edited:
Your challenge is not just getting prospects into the pipeline, but getting the right prospect... right at the point when he or she is ready to buy. Here's a seven-step program for accomplishing this:
- Step #1. Target. Clearly define and list the target market(s) for your offerings.
- Step #2. Adapt. Learn the language and lingo of your target market(s). Once you understand it and can speak it, you'll not just be able to communicate with them, but you'll be better able to relate to their challenges.
- Step #3. Plug Yourself In. Locate and subscribe to wire services and news services that serve each market or sub-market that you listed.
- Step #4. Research. Immerse yourself in insider news. Look for names about events that are actually buying signals and need signals.
- Step #5: Organize. Using the results of your research, create a list of decision-makers and key influencers. Be sure your list includes information about the article that seemed to signal a possible need for your offering.
- Step #6: Craft. Create a "30 second commercial" for each specific title on your call list. This "commercial" should mention the article that engendered the call and explain how you helped somebody similar to the prospect with a similar challenge.
- Step #7: Call. Contact the executives on your list and ask for some time to "visit and discuss" this. Quallify it as an issue and bring up other issues that you know probably need handling, based on the information in the article.
This targeted method works well because the "event" that triggers the call suggests a need for your offering, making more likely that decision maker or key influencer will become the entry point for a qualified opportunity.IMHO, Neil's process is money in your pocket when it comes to loading up your pipeline with qualified leads. And I like the way that Neil has structured it so that ANYBODY can do, with nothing more than a web browser and (maybe) a credit card. Bravo!
READERS: Please feel free to thank Neil in a comment. He's a great guy and real contributor!