Chasing new business

Separating the good prospects from the bad

When running a small business it's easy to fall into the trap of chasing every lead.  However, many leads will never result in a sale and as you grow it's important not to waste time and resources on poor leads.  You need to separate the good from the bad.

Once you've defined and identified your market the next steps are:

  • ensure your targets have a real need for the product and a capacity to buy - some key questions to ask include:

                             - What's your budget?
                             - Who is involved in the decision-making process?
                             - When are you expecting to buy?
                             - What are the next steps?

          The answers to these questions will help you determine whether your  prospect is ready and able to
          buy now or in the very near future.

  • Don't be afraid of rejection - many small business owners will keep on talking to a prospect even if the chance of a sale seems weak.  Don't be afraid to hear your prospects to say 'No' and in fact you should push them for a clear answer.  A prospect telling you that they aren't interested allows you to focus on other stronger prospects and helps to ensure you aren't wasting your time.  'No' can be a good thing.

  • Credit check your prospects - there is no point spending large amounts of your time on a prospect that is a poor credit risk.  Remember, it's not a sale if they don't pay their invoice.  Running a credit check allows you to ensure you are focusing your efforts on customers that can and will pay on time.

  • Gain as much insight as possible into a prospect's urgency for your product or service - this will allow you to rank your prospects as Hot and Warm leads.  Hot leads should be pursued straight away, while warm leads can wait until you've finished chasing every Hot lead.


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