My definition: a prospect is an individual who has (according to a predefined set of criteria) exhibited the potential to benefit from a product or service offered by an organization.
The challenge is to turn the potential to deliver an economic benefit to the organization into a reality.
How do you do it?
First let’s remember we are looking to “engage”, so let’s get clear on exactly what that looks like.
“Engage” is about a conversation; a mutual exploration of opportunity for both parties. The prospect is NOT a target for a sales pitch; an object to be flogged at by the sales person.
These 4 questions should enable you to plot an engagement strategy and have a decent chance of converting the latent demand the prospect represents for your product solution into a sale.
1. What do you know about the challenges your prospect faces? What priority problem they are trying to solve?
Study as many information sources as you can to paint your picture of the strategic and operational improvements they could use.
Be an “expert” on their current situation if you want them to believe you are genuinely interested in their affairs and gain their confidence.
2. Which of your products or services represent the best solutions? You must be perceived as the solution expert, and the only way you can attain this status is to be intimately knowledgeable of your product portfolio and pricing.
If you don’t, you may never get the chance to “get back to you on that”.
3. Do you have examples of where your solutions have worked for other clients with similar needs? Include them in your discussion and leave-behind package.
Talk to the economic benefits other clients received and your credibility will strengthen.
4. What do you know about the prospect that may surprise them? This is one of those “little BIG things”.
Taking the time to discover something special about a person expresses genuine interest in that person, and also gives you an edge over your sales competitors who aren’t so inclined.
If you’re not prepared to invest the time in doing your homework, don’t waste your prospect’s time; you will provide them little value and leave them feeling that it was a miserable experience.
And they will disappear from your radar as a prospect.
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