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Six Steps to Proactive Prospecting (In 15 Minutes or Less)

Effective prospecting in 15 minutes may seem like a joke, and, at first, it may feel that way as well. This process may take an hour or more upfront while you figure out your way through the steps, but once you have it nailed, prospecting will become the easiest part of your week.

Prospecting is most often the task left on the backburner in favor of client work and business operations. However, what’s a business without new clients? When you turn the lead generation process on its head, and the clients start coming to you, you will no doubt settle into a comfortable routine of outreach and bringing in new work.

Here are the six steps that will lead you to prospect gold.

  1. Customer Relationship Management

This is the platform that you should already have that keeps everything organized, from client contact information to employee accounts to the timelines and budgets for each event. Keep this tool close, as it serves as an effective birds-eye-view of everything going on at the moment and allows you to identify the customers that need more attention. After all, current client satisfaction is a prime way to find new business — hello, referrals.

  1. Company Website

Think about the information you have on your website that tells potential clients about you, your business, its work, and its values. When you have corporate clients, remember that their websites are a goldmine of insight into who they are, how they interact with others, and what they will expect from you. Review their about page, company story, blog posts, and any other relevant pages that will help you to understand your prospective client better.

  1. Social Media

More often than not, you can find social media accounts linked to their website, so this is a natural next step. Today, Instagram is a powerful platform to tap into your ideal clients and get a feel for what they’re looking for. What are they posting? Who are they already following? How can you relate to them? It only takes mere minutes to learn more about your prospective customer.

  1. LinkedIn

This social media platform is so effective at prospecting that it deserves its own step. Not to mention, LinkedIn isn’t typically readily available from a company website, so it may take some extra digging to uncover. LinkedIn is chockful of useful details about your ideal client, from the work that they do to the people that they’re connected with. You can see their awards, achievements, publications, and recent updates. It’s like a look at your prospect’s résumé so you can find common points. Use it often and use it well.

  1. Competitors

Knowing your competitors is key to understanding what else your prospect is being exposed to and how you can stand out from the crowd. Take some time to review competing websites and social media accounts to get a feel for products, services, branding, verbiage, and other client-facing content. The only way to sell a client on your offerings is to understand what else they’re seeing in the market.

  1. Gatekeeper

Gatekeepers are one of the common obstacles you may need to overcome. These are people that you have to get through to reach the real decision-maker. For corporate events, this may be an administrative assistant or a specialist that answers to the boss. In weddings and social events, it may be an opinionated family member who wants to be heard but doesn’t get the final say. Appeal to these influential people, and you’ve earned yourself an inside advocate — once the gatekeeper is on board, the decision-maker is usually quick to follow.

See? It sounds like a lot, but it just comes down to building a routine. Once you’ve been at this six-step process for a few weeks, you’ll be flying through new social media profiles and keeping tabs on your competitors like a pro. You’ll know what to keep an eye out for and won’t waste any time on unnecessary details.

Strategic prospecting is often overlooked as a sales method, but it is truly the most powerful way to put yourself on the same page as your dream client and bring them into your world.

 

With 30 years of experience owning event planning, high-end catering, and design and décor companies, Meryl Snow is on a mission to help businesses get on their own path to success. As a Senior Consultant & Sales Trainer for SnowStorm Solutions, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design, and branding. As a valued member of the Wedding Industry Speakers, she speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.

 

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