New Sales Leads - how to find and qualify them?

4 minutes of reading

New Sales Leads - how to find and qualify them?

To reach out to your target group you need to know where to find them or better, you need to have their contact details already.

In our last articles we talked about the different types of sales as well as how to define your target group. In this post we will cover the classical way of sales and how to find your potential client to offer him your product or your service. To be able to do this you need the right contacts. The word "right" fits in many ways, because you need the contact details of people or companies which might need your product and are therefore very likely to buy, as well as you need the the right contact details, which are not outdated, do belong to the decision maker, etc. If you want to sell a special service to manage the car fleet of a big company, the contacts of the IT department or worse, the customer support, don't help you at all.

For this reason the first thing you need to do is to think of the kind of company and department that would make up the "perfect match". For the car fleet example this could be the procurement or a special sales department. In smaller companies you would normally try to reach the CEO or owner of the business.

But how do you get the right contact data to reach the decision maker? Here you find some tips and tricks:

1. Your personal environment

When you start your own business you will probably know quite a bit of your domain and even might have some contacts in the industry. A personal contact is extremely valuable, but make sure you only approach people who presumably have a decent interest in your offer. Everyone who is well disposed to you will recommend your work or provide you with good contacts, but only if you can refer to this contact it becomes really valuable. Referral marketing is for sure one of the acquisition methods with the highest success rates. Therefore make sure you don't "burn" such referrals by just "using" them. First it is necessary to listen and to to give, the effort will pay off for sure.

2. Buying (or renting) mailing lists

On the web you will find several offers to buy contact details of consumers, businesses, etc. Normally the vendors promise you "high quality leads" for a price of something from $500 to $700 for 10.000 leads. This includes the option to filter for certain categories like the region, company size or average turnover.

Unfortunately most of the time the leads you get are everything else than "high quality". Often the data is outdated and you are - of course - not the only one one who bought them. Basicly hundreds and thousands of other sales folks tried exactly the same address and number to pitch their product and in consequence these people are already so annoyed of all the outreaching sales people, that they delete every mail which looks like a sales mail and only pick up the phone for numbers they know.

Still these lists are not entirely worthless because they might be a good way to start your research. Using the company names and websites are helpful to find out more about potential leads like which businesses are in my region, which department could be the right one for me to start with, etc.

3. Cooperations

With whom are my potential customers cooperating? If you know which services your clients use it gives you the chance of cooperations. Lets say you offer a delivery service for healthy lunch meals including fruits and salads. Many companies have a cooperation with the local fitness center. If you can join forces in some marketing and sales activities you will have a far better chance to acquire new customers. Why? Because first the gym will have clients you haven't heard of before, but even more important, people who trust their gym will more more likely trust you, making it easier for you to sell your service.

I hope these suggestions were a little inspiration for you and help you to fill up your list of leads. None of these methods are the ultimative way of acquisition and work for all kinds of businesses, so stay creative with trying out new ways and sales channels. Only make sure you know the legal conditions of the region you are targeting because for example cold calls are legal in some areas and countries, in others your company can be shut down for that. Just ask other companies in your region which have a similar problem, but aren't your competitors. They will give you good and useful answers.

by Sven Sester (G+) about sales and acquisition

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