Chris Rudd, CEO of RAYN Business Development
September 24, 2014

Why do so many manufacturing executives drive and fly to meet prospects? Unless prospects are qualified, this approach often wastes valuable time and resources for both parties. Applying Sandler’s Selling Rule #8 to current modes of communication, we’ve found:

  • Sales efforts are more effective when prospects are qualified through email and phone first
  • Getting the right people in a first meeting is often more important than the meeting itself
  • A relationship built on trust begins during prospecting and is strengthened through a first face-to-face meeting

So how does one proceed from a list of cold prospects to a handful of qualified ones?

1. Identify and Manage 40 Prospects – Yes, 40! This sounds like a lot but it will focus you on qualifying factors of an ideal prospect. Brainstorming can help identify such factors, like:

  • What makes a good customer we already do business with?
  • What are parallel industries or markets we’d want to break into?
  • Who have we always wanted to sell to but haven’t?

2. Hit Them Thrice – after researching each prospective business and their executives via LinkedIn, Google, and third party databases like Jigsaw, contact them via:

  • Telephone
  • eMail if no phone call is taken, or if there is compelling information to share after a first phone dialog
  • Contact them again for follow-up qualifying discussions

3. Know Thy Script – even in today’s busy world, executives still answer their phone, so know how to proceed during qualifying dialog:

  • Introduce yourself and your company
  • Ask your prospect questions about their business and needs
  • Clarify their needs in terms of urgency, priority and business impact
  • Understand their budget and decision making processes

Prospect qualification doesn’t typically happen with one communication, but occurs after a series of dialog. As such, accomplish as much as you can from your office. But when an opportunity becomes imminent and is a fit for your business, a budget becomes available, and their decision makers want to talk, driving or flying to meet face-to-face now makes good sense. And know that you just increased your selling effectiveness!

About RAYN Business Development – RAYN is a fresh, energetic business development company that has developed an efficient approach to business development and marketing that WILL grow business. RAYN plans, develops and implements a sales process that can be used in ANY industry. Visit http://www.GoMakeRayn.com/ to learn more.