Prospects are important in sales – without them it’s like a salesman without a job. Thoughtful prospecting translates in to actual sales. The ratio of actual sales to prospects goes up when leads are worked …
Fifteen years ago a sales person required business cards, a pair of shiny shoes, a firm handshake, and the stamina to walk and search for prospects in office buildings, industrial parks and residential blocks. Five years ago sales people needed to learn how to use the pc and send sales letters via email. Now the same things are still required except the need to sweat for prospects. Search engines have made prospecting a lot easier.
Along with a winning attitude prospecting requires the use of the latest technology, namely the Internet and its search engines – GYM – Google, Yahoo and Bing. Prospecting on the search engines is the most convenient way of locating potential buyers. Instead of traveling great distances and moving from building to building in search of prospects a smart sales person locates prospects at the press of a few key buttons.
The Internet is a humongous library with a sea of information and knowledge about consumer behavior, tastes, and preferences. A salesperson can get an accurate picture of the trends in the market from the Internet. Survey reports and study findings are periodically published on the Internet from time-to-time. These reports give the exact picture of market trends. A sales person can then design his sales approach and zero on prospects based on the knowledge gathered from the Internet.
Search Engines for Geographical Location of Prospects
Search engines have a liking for yellow pages and directories. They rank them high up in the search rankings. Prospecting becomes easy when a sales professional accesses a yellow page through the search engine that is not available in print version.
Search engines are the tools that will facilitate prospect search on the basis of geographical locations. Googling “jewelry shops in New York” will pop up the names and locations of all the jewelry shops in New York. A jewelry sales person will get access to the contact information of thousands of jewelry shops that may turn out to be qualified prospects. Even if there are printed versions of the yellow pages available, search engines can beat them in terms of narrowing down searches to specific geographical regions which the yellow pages cannot. If it’s the up market clients one is thinking of prospecting for jewelry, the Fifth Avenue & 57th Street jewelry shops and malls could be tracked on the search engines. Contact information of not only jewelry shops, but malls and shopping centers that may turn out as qualified prospects in this area can also be searched on the same page.
Prospects on Social Media
Similarly it is easy to find target prospects on the basis of their interests, hobbies, age group and other demography. Search engines can do here what no yellow page book can do. Young prospects can be targeted in social networking web sites such as: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Flickr etc. A lawyer specializing in adoption related cases can get a lot of prospects in forums and web sites that deal with adoption. Travelers keep touch with others and their family members on a web site www.wayn.com (where are you now). Pet lovers share their love for pets in various portals.
Establishing a good rapport with influential members of these social networking groups can lead to the generation of a large number of prospects and sales similar to viral marketing. Every social networking group has a few connoisseurs. Their opinions are held in high esteem and their online actions are duplicated without much question. If they buy or give a positive review of a product the majority of the network members prefers the product.
Emails and Prospecting
Search engines can give access to a host of email directories where the members submit their email IDs willingly to receive sales offers. specials and product campaigns from sellers. Their willful membership is the guarantee of the fact that the sales letters will not be treated as spam. All of these letters may not be read and replied. But the mere assurance that these letters will not be categorized as spam is encouraging enough. Chances are that a good number of emails will be responded to and will eventually lead to qualified prospects or sales.
Technology can shape and influence business decisively. Search engines have been able to do so demonstrably in the fields of sales and sales prospecting in particular.