Are You Finding Enough Prospects?


At the beginning of the year, we ran a poll asking alumni to share the biggest challenges they expected to face in achieving their professional goals or targets for 2018. A large number of sales reps indicated that finding enough prospects was a leading challenge.

2 years ago I posted this article to help those that were struggling to refine prospects in their given territories. I would recommend reviewing it to create characteristics of a model customer, first.

The reality for most sellers is that your company provides you with a defined geography or a description of what type of company you can engage, i.e., vertical, employee count, FED, SMB, SLED, (State & Local Gov. + Education), etc. There was a time when my geography was “34th Street to 42nd Street west of 5th Avenue”. At that time tools like Hoovers, LinkedIn or did not exist, either did the internet, but I digress… In that role, activity was key to success, as our product was universal for anyone running a legitimate business. Dialing and knocking on doors was essential because the data wasn’t available to refine who I called or where I went.

Much has changed for the better; however, activity remains your key to success. If you can complete the foundational work to define the ideal customer, leveraging this understanding will serve you well in your initial search. Establishing a short narrative about a delighted, existing customer can open the door. From there your goal is to determine if this prospect represents an opportunity; meaning do they have a problem that we solve, connected to an objective where we can help.

Last point – cold calling is hard. So don’t do it. Creating familiarity in your discipline can establish you among those you want to influence. Join a user forum, go to meet and greets, get active online, write articles, make useful comments and engage everywhere you can. Then pick up the phone.

Fun fact – In my first outside sales role, The Empire State Building was in my patch and I canvassed the entire building in 2 days, but I digress… #shoeleather

Good luck and good selling!

As a Vice President of Visualize, Gerard helps organizations improve business metrics by creating a better connection with their customer’s definition of value. He is focused on refining his client’s selling approach & their ability to differentiate – to drive increased revenues, market share and profitability.