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Using sales shortcuts to get to your real prospects

It's nice if it were possible to sell everybody. Reality dictates that it's not so, so the strategy would be to identify who the real prospects are to make better use of your time (and eliminate the suspects).

Has anyone formally set up system to accomplish this? - by Wonderboy
Jacques developed High Probability Prospecting. Is that what you're looking for or are you thinking about an ideal prospect profile? - by Calvin
My fantasy world. - by Wonderboy
...so the strategy would be to identify who the real prospects are to make better use of your time (and eliminate the suspects).
How is that a fantasy world? - by Calvin
Of course it's possible to identify and go after only real prospects. It involves a little thought and a lot of work, but it can free up a tremendous amount of time.

Some prospecting methods like learning to generate a large number of high quality referrals do it naturally, but if you are using other prospecting methods that don't naturally eliminate suspects, then you have to develop a highly targeted focus.

That focus starts by defining in the greatest detail possible who your ideal prospect is, where you can find them in significant numbers and how to you can get to them.

They most typical problem salespeople have with the process is defining and targeting the ideal client. They fear that by focusing exclusively on one or two ideal targets, they'll lose business from other places. Consequently, they won't narrow the search enough to eliminate the majority of suspects, leaving them in the same position they were before. - by pmccord
Do you think a survey would be a valuable tool towards screening out the suspects to get to the the true prospects? - by Wonderboy
I've seen surveys used successfully in the past--but typically by large companies because of the cost and the volume needed to generate a reasonable pool of true prospects.

The best method is to take all contacts you've made over a reasonable period of time--say the last year and analyze them in detail.

Take the clients you've acquired, the true prospects you didn't sell and all of the suspects you contacted.

Look critically at your list of clients to see if you can come up with an ideal prospect--not just in the easy to identify characteristics, but all characteristics. Maybe you find that your ideal prospect is in the 30-45 age group, married, lives in neighborhoods with home prices from 225,000 to 400,00, is college educated, has a family income of between $70,000 and 120,000 and is in management with mid to large firms. Or, maybe you discover that your ideal prospect is self-employed, or lives in an apartment, or whatever.

Then analyze the prospects you didn't sell. What were their characteristics? How did they differ from your ideal prospect? Then do the same with the suspects.

More than likely, you'll find one or more ideal prospects and you'll find the majority of the prospects you didn't sell and the suspects didn't fall into any of your ideal prospect profiles.

Then, to get even more detailed, try to determine the lead generation method you used to find each client, prospect and suspect. Again, more than likely, you'll find a pattern that shows which lead generation methods are most effective for your target groups.

As I mentioned before, this isn't easy and it takes time and discipline. But the payoff can be tremendous. - by pmccord
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