I think for many the idea of finding new clients can be rather daunting. Perhaps it’s the actual prospecting part of sales that we get stuck with the most.

When I speak to clients about finding new business they say to me “Just put me in front of the prospect and I’ll do the rest. I love my product and I usually walk away with the deal.” But they don’t want to prospect. Or they are no good at it.

Identifying this as a common objection amongst business owners had me thinking where would you start if you were prospecting to find new clients?

I’ve put together some tips on how to prospect effectively, and generally giving you a starting point to launch from. Once this starting point has been identified for you I believe that the sales process will flow.

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is prospecting?
This is the action taken to identify potential clients and to eventually turn them into loyal customers.

What is the difference between a lead and a prospect?
A lead is a person who has expressed interest in your service or product by signing up for your newsletter for example or downloaded your eBook.

A prospect is a lead that has been qualified as a prospective client. One way to do this is to ensure that the prospective client aligns with your business vision and fits your buyer persona.

Where to start looking for new clients
Social media is your free version of a database company, prospecting company and branding company all rolled into one and they can all be found on a single device. Thanks to the power of social media you can pretty much build a following online, for free, that is powerful and impactful.

Right, so how does this help with prospecting?

Once you’ve identified your buyer persona (see link above to do the exercise) you can now build your social media calendar and strategy. Remember, you are marketing to prospective clients, not for yourself!

One of the best gifts we have been given as business owners and salespeople is LinkedIn. What a great place to prospect!

I had a chat on Facebook Group this week on how sales has evolved. It’s no longer hard (push) selling, nowadays it’s all about relationship building (pull selling) before any sales conversation takes place.

What LinkedIn can do for you to find new clients
I started my entrepreneurial journey full-time in 2013 and instantly fell in love with this great platform called LinkedIn. I didn’t fully understand its depth and power back then, however, over the years I’ve learned how to properly leverage the data within LinkedIn. And thanks to learning and consuming as much as I could about the platform I can safely say that 90% of my business comes from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the best social media tools to help you build relationships, develop trust and stand out as a thought leader to prospects. Here you can do quality connections, engage in discussions to better understand your prospective client’s needs and how you can help solve them through your offering.

Do any amount of decent research and you’ll find countless articles encouraging you to warm your prospects up on social media first.

LinkedIn also offers you the opportunity to become a thought leader through publishing regular articles. I enjoy the art of writing so this is a great way for me to share my hard earned knowledge and to point out to my prospective clients that I have the much needed experience to manage their account in a beneficial and professional way.

Other great tips to apply for prospecting effectively:

  1. Become a thought leader by writing and sharing great articles for LinkedIn, your own blog and don’t forget you can guest blog for others too.
  2. Share engaging content with your followers and prospective clients. Not only your content creation but also other blogs and articles you come across that you feel will add value.
  3. Ask you current clients for referrals. If you’re doing a great job taking care of your clients, then they won’t have a problem being a brand advocate for you.
  4. Prospecting is effective when you know your target market. Be sure to understand your buyer persona so well that you can create content for them with your eyes closed. Or so to speak.
  5. Follow up follow up. The magic of sales lies in the follow up. And sometimes it can take 8 follow ups before you get your yes. So be persistent, if it’s worth it, it will pay off.

Bringing it together
Approach prospecting with the right attitude and mind-set, and you’ll get the results you are looking for. The key is to be active, present and consistent. The more prospective clients see your brand the better your prospecting chances are!

© Karen Wessels: Serial Business Woman. 2018