13 Platinum Prospecting Ideas
No person - no company
- no individual - no business has too much business.
They may have too much business on Tuesday. Or the last week of the month.
Or the first quarter of the year. Yet, no one has too much business.
Even when you're busy - putting in 7 day weeks and 12-14 hour days -
it does not mean you have too much business. It may mean it's "your
So, since every company, every organization must find new business to
not only survive, but also to grow - here are 13 Platinum Prospecting
Idea #1. Aim your arrow at the right audience
The first idea is obvious; you must talk to the right people.
Send your message to the wrong audience and you can count on zip response.
Send your news to those who can buy what you sell and at a minimum you
have a chance that something good will happen.
Idea #1 is not optional. It is mandatory that news of who you are, what
you offer, and how to do business with you be aimed at people who can
make a favorable decision in your direction.
Idea #2. Offer a reason to act now - make an offer
Making a sound offer is the most important element - behind selecting
the right audience - to growing your business with new business.
So don't even think about NOT making an offer.
If you are the "big player" in your field you may get away
with a weak offer. You will not get away with no offer.
When you introduce a new or enhanced product or service,
todays audience expects you to offer an incentive to give it a try. Be
certain you do.
When you have considerable competition - no matter your standing in your
industry - an offer will give your prospect a reason to consider you.
Idea #2 is also not optional - you must offer a reason for your audience
to respond, to act ... and to do it now.
When you make an offer you will increase response - you will gain more
Idea #3. Be interesting!
Be informative. Be useful. Maybe be entertaining. Still, the most important
description of a marketing message is it be interesting to the
If your audience is into gardening - talk gardening. If they are movie
buffs, talk the latest hot films - or old standards.
If they're math majors, or financial experts, or soccer players or new
moms or computer nerds or restaurant owners ... in each case talk with
them about what is important to them.
This concept is equally applicable at the office as at home. People buying
at work look for things that make their work more efficient, more effective.
Which is interesting to them.
Ditto at home. Single or a family, with or without kids - buying decisions
are made around needs that are interesting.
Idea #4. Promise benefits
No one buys features. The buttons and chrome. No, they buy what happens
when you "push" the button -- when they look at and feel the
People buy results. The buttons or chrome are the way to get the results.
Technology is wonderful. Yet, it means nothing to the buyer unless it
translates to one or more benefits.
Such as faster, quicker, cleaner, more complete, more efficient, more
effective, lasts longer, starts sooner. Or it's brighter, available in
"x" number of sizes and "y" number of colors and "w"
of shapes. It's something the user can see, taste, touch, feel, hear or
Promise the benefits your prospect will gain, earn, make, save, enjoy.
Otherwise your prospect is likely to respond with a "so what?".
Idea #5. Be believable
It's fine to use wildly descriptive adjectives to make your point. As
long as you are still believable.
Part of believable is you have the credentials to say these words, to
make this offer. A computer company doing hotel management doesn't make
much sense. A hotel chain offering hotel management is believable.
Another part of your believability is your reputation. You do what you
say you are going to do. Right the first time. On time. And you can prove
it with references, testimonials, facts and figures.
Much of the marketplace is skeptical. You must be believable.
Idea #6. ... and be "different", too
It's okay to be straight and narrow. It's not okay to be boring.
"Steal" concepts - ideas - from others and adapt them. Demonstrate
with examples. Show how one good thought has application many other ways.
Frequently an idea from a client in one industry will work, with a twist,
You share this insight - this "difference" - with stories,
with case histories. With references from your current collection of clients.
The more you know the more you can say. And the more you know about your
customers the more you can share with your prospects.
Idea #7. Use "tactics" to get attention
Prospecting is a process. It is generating a lead. It is finding people
to talk to.
Prospecting is selling only in that you are selling a potential buyer
into talking with you. You are not selling your product or service - instead,
the idea of what you offer.
So, using a tactic to get attention makes sense. An oversized envelope
for your direct mail. Strong colors in your literature. A "screaming"
headline in your print advertisement. A collection of "double-meaning"
phrases as teaser in your E-mail or fax marketing message.
You might also offer a premium - or send an advertising specialty.
Each of these ideas is a tactic to S T O P the reader. To get them to
give you their attention.
Idea #8. Compare yourself to others
A successful tactic is to compare what you offer to what your competition
brings to the table.
And it does not need to be war. Hertz vs. Avis or Pepsi vs. Coke style.
No, you can make your point with a simple chart listing you - and the
other guys by number or letter. For example,
This clearly shows you as the leader - in all the important categories.
And still, is a simple way to get you the attention you're seeking.
Idea #9. Answer questions
Such as how long is this going to take? Sometimes timing is everything.
And ... is this offer a good value for me? Will this product/service
meet my needs? How does it exceed my expectations?
Also answer all the "what if" questions. "What if I make
this decision and decide later I want out - what happens?" "What
if I get the wrong size or color or shape or model - what happens?"
Be prepared for a Q&A dialogue with prospects. Before they buy they
will want to know more.
Be the good scout - Be Prepared.
Idea #10. Prove your points
It is not enough to have something to say, something to offer. You must
prove what you offer will do what you say - will do the job.
Of course, the only real proof is when the prospect becomes a customer
and is satisfied enough to become a reference. Yet, before that happens
you need to turn that prospect into a customer.
One way to do that is with proof. Which comes with facts and figures.
Maybe it's research, or an association white paper. Or from a respected
You also offer proof with testimonials and case history stories. Testimonials
from satisfied users. Case stories that share in some detail your success.
And you can use references, too. From both clients and others who know
you. Where you can send your prospects to check your story.
Finally, you offer proof with a strong guarantee of satisfaction. So
your prospect becomes comfortable before becoming your customer.
Idea #11. Make your prospect "comfortable"
Most people do not like to be sold - yet, they sure do like to buy!
One of the ways to get prospects "comfortable" is to offer
options on how to buy. On how to spend their money with you.
So, tell your prospect what happens when. Who does what when. About the
process of you working together. All the options.
Sure, every company would like to be up the ladder at least one more
rung. Some "push" themselves to the top when they are not ready
to be there.
You must both "look" and "feel" like what you are.
And your prospect must be "comfortable" with the impression
they get of you, before they will buy from you.
Idea #12. Be easy to do business with
You do not want to be as complicated to work with as most telephone answering
operations are to get through. Far too many voice mail systems make it
nearly impossible to get to a real, live person.
No, instead, you must be easy to do business with. By offering complete
information to your prospects. From your trade show stand, from your demonstration
room, through your sales reps, on your web site. Make it easy to learn
what you have to offer.
And then offer a free demonstration. A free trial. A money back guarantee.
Make it easy to learn how your product/service work.
Then make it easy to spend money with you. Offer multiple ways to pay.
The easier you are to do business with, the more business you will get.
Idea #13. Be sure to repeat your message ...
be sure to repeat your message
Coca Cola is the world's most recognized icon. More people have seen
the logo of Coke than any other.
You will not live a day in your life without seeing or hearing something
about Coca Cola. They repeat-repeat-repeat their message over and over.
Again and again. In every way possible.
Well, most of us do not enjoy the resources of Coke. Yet, the concept
they implement so well, in country after country around the globe, we
all can do. In our own way we can repeat our message.
In reverse - if your plan is to say what you have to say once and not
again - don't. Don't waste your time or money with a one time message.
The chances of success are so slim as to be unmeasurable. It's just not
worth it to do a marketing, advertising, merchandising, sales promotion,
public relations program a single time.
Repetition will build your reputation. Repeat your message.
That's it -- 13 Platinum Prospecting Ideas. Put them to
work for your company and enjoy more success.