Most organizations want to prospect Fortune 1000 companies. While tempting, it can be a bit like boiling the ocean. After all, there are 1000 companies on the list and the big question is always how to prioritize. While many companies listed on the Fortune list are desirable prospects, some may not be and it’s really important to understand that, otherwise your sales people will end up dialing for dollars, which is time consuming and costly.
Here are some insights that might help you and your team prospect more effectively.
1) Understand who you want to target
A consultative sales approach starts with understanding who your target audience is and it might turn out that your ideal client is not necessarily on the Fortune list. For example, if you develop a niche offering your prospect could be small business owners or mid-size companies in a specific region or industry.
2) Develop a message that resonates with your audience
Once you identified your ideal client profile, you need a message that resonates. Put yourself into your prospect’s shoes and try to find out why you would want to buy the service/product. Talk about industry trends, such as mobile technology if it’s relevant to your service offering so you help your prospect be relevant.
3) Identify the decision maker
You need to talk to the right people within the organization, otherwise your message will not be heard. If you have an offering that features cost savings, target the CFO. Develop a unique selling proposition that highlights the benefits of your service/product by telling a story to your prospects that is relevant to their daily responsibilities.
4) Don’t talk about your company background service features
People are not interested in how good your service offering is, they only care what it can do for them. Focus on the benefits and avoid the temptation to brag. Everybody thinks they have the best offering. What counts is whether it’s a fit or not.
5) Look for a fit
Not everybody will get excited about your story and that’s OK. If you do your research and you take the steps outlined above, you will find the individuals in the companies that fit your ideal prospect profile. Sometimes you will get a “no” or a “not now”, but more importantly while you are having those conversations you will be able to gather market research to strengthen and sharpen your message.
In a nutshell, don’t try to boil the ocean. Be targeted in your approach. Find the appropriate person within the organization and sharpen your message so it’s attractive to the buyer. Don’t embellish and don’t pitch. Tell a compelling story and look for a fit.