Home > Prospecting > Prospecting is a marketing function

Prospecting is a marketing function

I've been online all night reading about sales and marketing and last night I read somewhere that prospecting is a marketing function. Why would prospecting be a marketing function? - by donnie
Marketing is the general term for everything a company does to get the market to buy thier product/service. However, no company can simply go out and do "marketing". They have to do a functional part of marketing. This can include advertising, prospecting, or something along those lines. And you can take that even further. For example, prospecting could be done over the phone or face to face. Advertising could be done on a billboard, through direct mail, on television, etc. - by Derek
The article said that prospecting was a marketing function not a sales function. Isn't prospecting really a part of sales? - by donnie
The article said that prospecting was a marketing function not a sales function. Isn't prospecting really a part of sales?
I dunno, it's usually the sales people doing the door knocking and telephone calls. :re - by Thomas
This article was nothing more than a theory. There isn't a right answer.

However, I would say that prospecting is simply one-to-one advertising. Advertising is what you do to get the attention of your market. Sales is what you do once you have their attention. - by Derek
This article was nothing more than a theory. There isn't a right answer.

However, I would say that prospecting is simply one-to-one advertising. Advertising is what you do to get the attention of your market. Sales is what you do once you have their attention.
I guess telemarketing or door knocking could be looked at as one-to-one advertising but I've never heard it called that. - by Thomas
I guess telemarketing or door knocking could be looked at as one-to-one advertising but I've never heard it called that.
Personal selling is an aspect of Promotion which is a pillar of marketing. The intent of prospecting as it relates to personal selling is not to "advertise" your product or service but instead to identify and ultimately sell your product/service to prospects who are ready, willing and able. - by Sensei
Personal selling is an aspect of Promotion which is a pillar of marketing. The intent of prospecting as it relates to personal selling is not to "advertise" your product or service but instead to identify and ultimately sell your product/service to prospects who are ready, willing and able.
To me that makes sense. When I read that about prospecting I wondered if I had missed something. It looks like I didn't. ;sm - by donnie
Personal selling is an aspect of Promotion which is a pillar of marketing. The intent of prospecting as it relates to personal selling is not to "advertise" your product or service but instead to identify and ultimately sell your product/service to prospects who are ready, willing and able.
You nailed it Sensei. I couldn't have said it better myself. ;sm - by Mikey
The article said that prospecting was a marketing function not a sales function. Isn't prospecting really a part of sales?
Yes, it is. It is a marketing part of sales. Marketing and sales are not synonymous, but neither are they separate. Service is another thing that is often part of sales, but it doesn't mean the same thing. - by Gary Boye
All these terms have specific meanings in different contexts as well as general definitions. When I prospect I look for people who want either the products I sell [take to market] or the business I offer [sell or take to market]. We advertise on the radio and in classified ads, we market through advertising and sell through independent distributors.

That's how I use the terms.

The best to all.

MitchM - by MitchM
I think prospecting, that is, generating sales leads, is marketing's function. Salespeople should have a healthy supply of qualified leads that are ready for conversion and they shouldn’t waste their time and talent on pounding pavements, hammering telephone dial pads and combating gatekeepers. But most companies want to save money, so they hire an army of salespeople and send them out to roam the land.

Most of these companies could maintain the same sales levels with half of the sales force and some good marketing.

Peter Drucker put it this way: “Foreign managers take marketing seriously. In most American companies marketing still means no more than systematic selling. Foreigners today have absorbed more fully the true meaning of marketing: Showing what is value of the customer.”

Thoughts?

Tom - by Bald Dog
At our broker's office the company generates the Buyer leads but we have to go out and find the listing leads ourself. I have worked for two other companies and it was the same there too. I've talked with other agents and some of the people here and the consensus was that contacting FSBOs and Expired listings was the most productive method, outside of referrals, for generating listings. If you ran a brokerage what marketing methods would you use for generating a healthy supply of qualified leads for your agents? - by Thomas
Thomas,

I would almost certainly use a free report [buyer’s guide, executive briefing, consumer’s guide, etc.] that addresses the target market’s biggest problem. The report is a blend of valuable information and a sales letter.

For realtors: Will you be making these mistakes when selling/ buying your home?
For plumbers: Will you be making these mistakes when you’re hiring a plumber the next time?

The idea is that you’re looking for people not to buy from you but just get into your funnel so you can stay in touch with them… automatically.

And when they are ready to buy, they will come to you, so you don't have to chase them.

Thoughts?

Cheers

Tom - by Bald Dog
I would almost certainly use a free report [buyer’s guide, executive briefing, consumer’s guide, etc.] that addresses the target market’s biggest problem. The report is a blend of valuable information and a sales letter.
I have friends who are realtors and they offer free reports on their website. You get the reports emailed to you over a period of time. Is this what you're talking about?

If it is, I've asked these guys about seller leads because I was thinking of buying a website and they said that very few Seller leads come from the Internet.

Another guy I know advertises free reports in the newspaper. He calls it "direct response marketing". I asked him about it and he said it doesn't pull like it used to. He is also one of the people who said I should concentrate on fsbos and expireds.

Would that be your primary method of generating leads, the free reports? - by Thomas
Thomas,

I would almost certainly use a free report [buyer’s guide, executive briefing, consumer’s guide, etc.] that addresses the target market’s biggest problem. The report is a blend of valuable information and a sales letter.

Thoughts?

Cheers

Tom
The method you suggest is sound and can produce excellent results in terms of sales leads.

First though, one has to be capable of producing a newsletter that would be informative and effective. Or--use one written by someone else and be capable of judging its merits. Not everybody has those capabilities any more than everybody has the skills to prospect in other ways. - by Gary Boye
I have friends who are realtors and they offer free reports on their website. You get the reports emailed to you over a period of time. Is this what you're talking about?
Exactly. And then stay in touch with them through a newsletter.

If it is, I've asked these guys about seller leads because I was thinking of buying a website and they said that very few Seller leads come from the Internet.
I use lots of off-line ways of driving people to the website. The website is the hub of all activities, a sort of gathering place, but I drive people there from many sources.

Another guy I know advertises free reports in the newspaper. He calls it "direct response marketing". I asked him about it and he said it doesn't pull like it used to.
Pulling rate can be drastically improved with the headline alone.

Would that be your primary method of generating leads, the free reports?
Absolutely. That’s the very first step of getting into my funnel. I ask no one to buy, just read the report. Through my articles, speeches, networking I'm "selling" the free report. And the report will sell people to stay subscribed to the newsletter.

Next, they start receiving my newsletter “Tomicide Solutions”. The newsletter suggests some info products.

Then buy some low-priced information products. The info products introduce my group programmes.

Then they join my more expensive business development group coaching programme. The group prgrammes introduce 1-to-1 consulting help and support.

Then they are ready for 1-to-1 consulting work

It’s a gradual build-up. But by then they know me and the value I offer. The are no objections, no “competitive” bidding.

So, everyone I talk to, my Most Wanted Response is requesting my free report. That’s all.

This is what I’ve been using…

25% of my stuff is free giveaway

50% of my stuff reasonably priced information products

25% of my stuff is premium consulting work

It seems to work.

Thoughts?

Cheers

Tom - by Bald Dog
BaldDog, the concept you put forth has been shown to work in many instances.

However, I would not recommend Thomas pursue this as his number one source of generating listing leads. Right idea wrong audience. - by Agent Smith
I undertand the attrition rate is high in real estate. I gather from this forum that many continue to do the same as the majority which is part and parcel to the attrtion rate.

I like your ideas, Tom. I know from your previous posts that you were influenced by Dan Kennedy who has suggested that one should observe what all the rest are doing...and then do the opposite.

Thomas...my suggestion...and I am not in real estate...is this. When you hear the words that something will never work...jump on it and do it. - by Gary Boye
In this instance Gary would you suggest that Thomas pursue Tom's idea as his number one source of generating listing leads? - by Agent Smith
Thomas, take it from someone who understands the business, work your referral base first and then move on to the FSBOs and Expireds when prospecting for new listings. ;) - by AZBroker
Thank you for the advice everyone. :)

Thomas, take it from someone who understands the business, work your referral base first and then move on to the FSBOs and Expireds when prospecting for new listings. ;)
Do you think I should do as Tom recommended with FSBOs and Expireds? - by Thomas
Thomas I am not familiar with the specifics of Tom's proposal.

I do know that the overwhelming majority of people (approx. 80%) who use and agent found the agent through some sort of referral. This is too big of a market to pass up.

I do know that FSBOs and Expireds are high visibility targets who have a high probability of needing a service like yours. I also know that FSBOs and Expireds don't stay FSBOs and Expireds for long so any type of a targeted mail campaign would be limited. - by AZBroker
However, I would not recommend Thomas pursue this as his number one source of generating listing leads. Right idea wrong audience.
Thanks for pointing it out. I may have missed something vital in the message, and jumped to the wrong conclusion.

My reason for emphasising marketing over selling is this: “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous” ~ Peter Drucker

The more we market (gradually warm up the audience), the more of them will come to us ready for business. They do the selling process on themselves as they are exposed to our valuable information (as opposed to our silly brochures and pitches).

Thomas...my suggestion...and I am not in real estate...is this. When you hear the words that something will never work...jump on it and do it.
“If the suggested solution is being welcomed, abandon it.
If a planned change is resented, investigate it.
If an innovation is being ridiculed, invest in it.”
~ How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People by Jonar Nader

And I try to live by this.

In this instance Gary would you suggest that Thomas pursue Tom's idea as his number one source of generating listing leads?
I think it’s a good idea to create a couple of lead generation channels. However, we have to make certain that we’re engaging in lead generation not in forced order generation. It’s also important to consider that realtors rate very low on trust level. That’s why repeat business is almost an oxymoron. But this is just based on what I’ve read and the real estate clients I’ve worked with.

Thoughts?

Cheers

Tom - by Bald Dog
In this instance Gary would you suggest that Thomas pursue Tom's idea as his number one source of generating listing leads?
No.

If results proved better from that venue, I would think that focusing on it and continous refinement would be smart. If by "number one" you mean at the exclusion of other methods, I personally would be against that. However, sometimes we have to eliminate methods that are not bringing results.

I think referrals are the best way to get business. Concentration on that should always be in personal strategy sessions. The best referrals are from existing and past clients. Early in the game you have to use methods that work to get those existing clients...otherwise the the source for the best referrals will not be hatched. Then, if you're creating good experiences, the referrals will come. It's simple logic.

I understand the business of referrals and I understand the business of people. All trades have esoterics. - by Gary Boye
Thanks for pointing it out. I may have missed something vital in the message, and jumped to the wrong conclusion.

My reason for emphasising marketing over selling is this: “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous” ~ Peter Drucker

The more we market (gradually warm up the audience), the more of them will come to us ready for business. They do the selling process on themselves as they are exposed to our valuable information (as opposed to our silly brochures and pitches).
I like your ideas Bald Dog and Peter's quote is superb.

It’s also important to consider that realtors rate very low on trust level. That’s why repeat business is almost an oxymoron.
I'm not sure I understand. Would you elaborate? - by Agent Smith
I'm not sure I understand. Would you elaborate?
In my experience buying/selling a home a major drag for many people because they don’t trust the very realtors they have to rely on. The same way, we buy cars, but hardly ever trust the car salesperson who sells them.

But again, this is just my experience, and I know both scumbaggy and nipplepiercingly amazing realtors.

Have I made it clearer? Sorry for confusing you. It’s one of my major skills. [grin, grin] - by Bald Dog
In my experience buying/selling a home a major drag for many people because they don’t trust the very realtors they have to rely on. The same way, we buy cars, but hardly ever trust the car salesperson who sells them.

But again, this is just my experience, and I know both scumbaggy and nipplepiercingly amazing realtors.
I understand. :)

If more salespeople would conduct themselves in a professional manner and more consumers would take an active role in protecting themselves by nothing more than checking into the person they were dealing with there would be a lot more trust going around. But then if wishes were fishes we'd all have a fry. :) - by Agent Smith
Salespeople should have a healthy supply of qualified leads that are ready for conversion and they shouldn’t waste their time and talent on pounding pavements, hammering telephone dial pads and combating gatekeepers.
I would love that! :lo - by realtor
But most companies want to save money, so they hire an army of salespeople and send them out to roam the land.
That is one perspective.

Another perspective is that the economic value of any one salesperson can be measured by the volume of new business that individual brings to the company through means of their own. - by REBroker
That is one perspective.

Another perspective is that the economic value of any one salesperson can be measured by the volume of new business that individual brings to the company through means of their own.
Good point.

But the perspective of Bald Dog's which you refer to, and the other perspective you mention, are not mutually exclusive. - by Gary Boye
But the perspective of Bald Dog's which you refer to, and the other perspective you mention, are not mutually exclusive.
The perspective I attributed to Tom's post was "companies, in an effort to save money, hire an army of salespeople and send them out to roam the land." I view that as a scarcity mentality.

The perspective I introduced was "companies hire salespeople because of the economic value they bring to the company". I view that as an abundance mentality.


In my opinion scarcity and abundance mentalities are mutually exclusive. - by REBroker
In my opinion scarcity and abundance mentalities are mutually exclusive.
Agreed.

The idea of hiring salespeople to "save money" doesn't make sense to me. The last time I checked recruiting, training and retaining employees was a bit spendy. :) - by SpeedRacer
Bald Dog, I'm interested in your perspective. What did you mean when you wrote that companies want to save money so they hire an army of salespeople... ? - by BossMan
Bald Dog, I'm interested in your perspective. What did you mean when you wrote that companies want to save money so they hire an army of salespeople... ?
I must have missed something too. What am I missing BD? - by Liberty
Tom, would you expand on your original comment about saving money and hiring salespeople? - by Milton
The perspective I attributed to Tom's post was "companies, in an effort to save money, hire an army of salespeople and send them out to roam the land." I view that as a scarcity mentality.

The perspective I introduced was "companies hire salespeople because of the economic value they bring to the company". I view that as an abundance mentality.


In my opinion scarcity and abundance mentalities are mutually exclusive.
Those are some good points REBroker. - by Agent Smith
Do many companies (not including retail) provide salespeople with sales leads? Are there any industries where company provided sales leads is the norm? - by Frankie
Do many companies (not including retail) provide salespeople with sales leads? Are there any industries where company provided sales leads is the norm?
They are not necessarily separated by industry, rather by marketing method. Direct response marketing is the method you are referring to. The company distributes leads gained from DRM advertising. The salespeople are often not expected to do any prospecting on their own except in cases where they might be asked to solicit referrals at point of sale. Mutual of Omaha used this method for years, but it is not as common among other Life and Health insurance companies.

Another venue by companies is third party marketing where leads are distributed having originated from alliances with other groups. For instance, a company could have an agreement with an association of teachers or health professionals. Members of the organizations would have certain benefits for doing business with the company. So leads are distributed from the roles of membership and contacts are made by the salespeople. In some cases, DRM is combined with that. The lead would originate from a request for information from the member.

These methods shift the focus of acountablity for the sales staff. Their performance is measured almost solely on their ability to convert the leads, which are quite costly, rather than to acquire them from their own activities. - by Gary Boye
Thank you for answering that question Gary. Do you think it's more common for companies to provide leads or salespeople to generate their own? - by Frankie
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.