Everyone has to start somewhere. Building your client list from scratch is tough, so where do you begin? Most salespeople hit the pavement and dial numbers, talking to one prospect after another, grasping at any potential lead. But the best place to start is getting to know your audience.
Think about who needs your product. Then look for the following signs that the prospect is ready to consider an offer. That way, you’ll work smarter (not harder) and generate a client list to be proud of.
Take advantage of changes in leadership with an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. With new leaders comes new potential for relationships. When buyers leave their companies, so do the connections they built. If they had a strong relationship with a vendor, their exit opens the opportunity for a new relationship with a different vendor.
LinkedIn gives you a snapshot of these changes. That’s why you should always connect with prospects on LinkedIn, especially when they’ve told you no. Why? The person, not the company, told you no. When they leave that organization, you have another chance at the deal. Plus, you may have connections to the new buyer that give you an edge.
Unfortunately, leadership changes are also the reason you’ll lose your best clients. If your key contact leaves and the CEO doesn’t know you, the door is open for other people to come in and sell. Too many salespeople fall into this trap. Realize that changes mean opportunities. If your buyer leaves, it’s time to build a relationship with the new buyer before someone else does.
When buyers transition into new positions, don’t let them go that easily. Reach out to them. They may pave the way for you to work with their new organization or help you do better with their past employer.
Take them to lunch and pick their brain. Ask, “How would you do business with your past employer if you were me?” They may give you special insight or even help you navigate the sale. Now that they’re gone, they have nothing to lose.
Weather- or News-Related Opportunities
There’s also a lot to gain from being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes, sales signals just fall in our laps.
Bad weather creates numerous needs in home repair and preventative services. If you’re serving an area that’s just experienced storm damage, capitalize on the needs that surround you.
Also, stay aware of marketplace news. If there’s a story about your company, your competitors, or your product, seize the opportunity of raised awareness. Prospects are primed for you to reach out and build relationships with them.
Keep your eyes open to the obvious needs that surround you. If you sell signs, look for businesses that have bad signage. If you sell uniforms, look for prospects that have worn-looking uniforms. Sometimes you’ll make a sale simply from noticing the blatant needs right in front of you.
Government or Legal Compliance Changes
Be aware of laws that affect your target markets. In Tennessee, we recently passed some of the strictest laws in the country on data breaches. If someone steals data, even if it’s encrypted, we now legally have to notify all affected people. If I were in the business of data security, I’d present to potential clients about what that means for their companies to capitalize on the ramifications for not having the service we provide.
Recent Funding and Hiring Posts
If a new series of funding hits or you see posts for hiring, those are indications that the company is doing well. Their success suggests they may now be ready to buy your product.
When companies relocate or expand, they’ll need services for their new site. Pay attention to location changes and take the chance to meet their upcoming needs.
Looking for the right cues makes all the difference in the success of a salesperson. When you tune in to these signals, you’ll discover one sales opportunity after another.