How To Prospect Local Clients For Your Web Services
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/20/2006 | Marketing
All successful sales people know that their success is greatly dependent on their ability to effectively prospect. In other words, the "sale" begins here. 100% of all businesses are prospects for you.
You cant name a legitimate industry that is not a candidate for your web services. Sales are based on numbers. The more business owners you contact, the greater the odds of setting an appointment to meet with them.
The business can be a manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler, lawyer, home improvement contractor or hospital administrator they all have their reasons for needing your web services.
This is why you should have no difficulty in coming up with at least 100 fresh new leads on a weekly basis. It is best to contact prospects on Monday mornings. The more your business grows the more apt you are to begin receiving referrals from your existing customers. That, however, still does not preclude prospecting for new customers.
Its important to create a prospect lead system. You can do that the old-fashioned way by creating a manual card file using plain 3 x 5 index cards. Or, you can set up a contact management program on your computer.
Whichever method you choose, follow this checklist:
1. Information you will want on each lead:
Name of the business
Address with zip code
Name(s) of owner(s) with title(s) if available.
2. How to create your 100 leads weekly:
While out on the road, speak into a recorder, listing names of business and other pertinent information that you see while traveling.
Later, while listening to the recorder, transfer the information to a card or your contact management program.
Using the yellow pages, create leads from a variety of businesses.
Visit your local library and use either Contacts Influential, Inside Contacts or any other printed directory and create leads using the geographical section (by zip code) or the SIC (Standard Industry Code) Section. SIC has all businesses grouped together by type, i.e. plumbers, insurance, etc.
3. Newspapers are a terrific source for leads.
Begin to read the newspaper differently than you have in the past. Make note of what businesses are advertising and what they are advertising.
Read the business section for announcements of new businesses.
Read the legal section for listings of new incorporations.
4. Pick up every free print directory you can find. Usually you will find these free papers located in stands outside of frequently visited businesses, like grocery stores and restaurants. They run the gamut by specialty industries like: real estate, senior citizens, automobiles, etc. Quik Quarter and PennySaver are two that come
5. Stop throwing away your junk mail! Theres gold in there. Any business who is already actively engaged in advertising is a prospect for your directory. If they are using print media you can be assured that they are accustomed to spending a great deal of money on advertising.
6. Here is a list of additional sources for you. You can probably come up with many more:
Chamber of Commerce Directories
Better Business Bureau Directories
Direct Mail Coupons
Business cards displayed at
Visuals like drive bys and mobile units
7. If you use a contact management system on your computer to organize and track your leads, you will still want to have a card file system to use for those leads you obtain from other advertising. Cut out the newspaper ad or coupon and staple to an index card. Organize these leads into a card file system that parallels your contact schedule.
8. Remember to use logical calling times for the businesses you contact. Typically, you would not want to contact a restaurant during their "prime times" like breakfast, lunch or dinner and remember our previous comments about contacting the construction industries.
These are just a few of the resources you can put to work in building your business locally.