Four Techniques to Attracting New Customers10 Jan, 2006 By: Marvin Himel imageSource
Four Techniques to Attracting New Customers
Having a broad, well-balanced
approach to prospecting can be vital to succeeding in sales. Think about it, do
you want to place your career and livelihood on a single method?
To maintain a continuous flow of qualified prospects, you should employ several
different prospecting methods to maintain a high level of success and avoid burn
out. Take into consideration these four techniques:
#1 Letter Campaigns
Strategically written letters paired with follow-up phone calls are effective
tools to set up a face-to-face appointment with a prospect. To make your letter
campaign work you should:
• Verify the contact information of the prospect you want to target.
• Write a brief letter being empathetic to the struggles they face, such as time
management and budgeting.
• Explain how you specialize in solving that problem. Remember, these letters
are just an appointment setting tool. You don’t want to go into too much detail
about your company. Most importantly, include a specific time you will call them
to set up a time to bring by a copy of a white paper, article, etc.
Additionally, the letters should not be on letterhead, be signed only with your
name, and in hand-addressed envelopes to further increase the odds of being read
by the prospect.
Follow-up with a phone call at the time you promised. Most likely, the executive
will not be sitting by the phone waiting for you, but some may be expecting your
call at that specific time. Either way, when you call, you are able to say,
“He/she should be expecting my call.”
Once again, keep in mind that the telephone is to be used for setting
appointments only, not for providing specific details of your products and
Keep both the phone calls and letters short and sweet! These letters take
planning and coordinating, but you should be sending out 10-30 of these each
week to make sure you have enough prospects to call for appointment setting.
Catching the people you sent the letters to can be challenging. Persistence is
required, but you must walk the fine line of diligence and annoyance. More than
twice a day, especially if you’re going through a receptionist, is defined as
For an example of what I call the “Million Dollar Letter,” email email@example.com.
Some of the best business is referral business! A warm call is so much more
enjoyable than a cold call. Here are some excellent places to network:
• Join a leads group. There are many out there; you just have to do some
research to find them.
• Join your local chamber of commerce and go to their monthly networking events.
You’ll be surprised at the number of people you can meet and the things you can
pick up about what’s going on in your community.
• Join a Toastmasters group (www.toastmasters.org) and sharpen your story
telling and speaking skills while networking at the same time.
• Call some of the top companies in your area and ask the sales manager, or the
sales secretary, the name of the top reps in their company. Call them and
volunteer to buy their lunch to begin a relationship. Give them a lead or two
and they’ll eventually reciprocate down the road.
# 3 Mining the Customer Base
It is easier to keep business than to get new business.
If you have been assigned a certain number of customers in the database to call
on, take advantage of that and go visit them on site. Even if they have no
further need for your product, they may know someone who does and they may be
willing to write a nice referral letter for you. The key here is to find out who
your raving fans are.
If you are not assigned a certain number of existing customers, ask your manager
for the names of five of your most satisfied customers and drop by just to say
hello. They may be willing to give you some referrals or write a nice reference
If you think it would be beneficial, you could offer a small token of your
companies’ appreciation for their business that you would like to bring to them.
#4 Cold Calling
From the smallest leads to possible major accounts, face-to-face cold calling
can be of value even if you don’t make the sale. Here are some things to think
• Make cold calls in the area you are already making another call in. Even if
all you are able to obtain is a business card and a contact name, the visit was
• Valuable information can be gained just by walking into the lobby of a
potential prospect. You can get a feel for the culture of the company. How is
the lobby decorated? Is it conservative or modern? Sometimes you can even pick
up a copy of their annual report from the front desk.
• You never know what may happen when you walk through that door. Their copier
may have just broken down, or their current printing company, computer company,
advertising company, or phone company may have just messed up an order and
they’re ready to make a change.
• Just driving around, scouting out your territory, and writing down the names
of businesses you weren’t aware of, or the future home of businesses coming into
the area, is a great lead source for you.
Given that 50 percent of being a great salesperson is successful prospecting,
you must always be on the lookout for potential customers. Remember, everywhere
you go and every person you meet is a potential source for a lead!
Marvin Himel is the author of “Winning Every Time-Secrets for Sales
Success” and the president of Competitivedge Systems, a sales training,
consulting and marketing company that specializes in the document imaging
industry. To contact Marvin call 904.296.8661, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.competitivedgesystems.com.