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Prospecting - The Art Of Looking For New Customers - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Prospecting - The Art Of Looking For New Customers by TavershimaAyede(m): 5:36am On Jul 21
Part of the art of prospecting is looking out for people who could be a good match for your product or service.

Prospecting is the regular practice of looking for new people to talk to who you could reasonably do business with you in the future.

Unfortunately it’s not always a “one to one” match when it comes to looking for who could receive benefits from your product or service.

For instance, a makeup artist sent me a message not long ago...

“Good morning. I was wondering if you need a makeup artist for your studio? I just want to know”

This is actually better than the usual message I’d receive which would be something like...

“Good morning Madam. Ojukwo Glam Makeup Artists are the best in the Abuja metropolitan area. For your most sophisticated and upscale styling session, contact us today on 080XXXXXX for a 50% discount. You won’t be disappointed that you did. Thank you very much in advance Ma.”

Why is the first message better? Because it was targeted and the person did some research beforehand.

The second message is a “broadcast message” that got into my inbox assuming I’m a woman who regularly uses makeup.

The second person did some research and discovered I was a male wedding photographer, and it’s reasonable to assume that I had a studio that would need styling support services for my clients.

The first step in prospecting is making sure the message or approach is well targeted and you know who the potential audience is.

The next step is being ready to enter into a conversation before you go into your “sales pitch.”

A conversation is necessary because it gives you the opportunity to find out some more about the potential customer, what their needs are, and how you can possibly help.

It is only when you have this information that you can confidently say...

“Hey are you in the market for XYZ? My product can help you alleviate ABC for 50% of the price. Would you be interested in that?”

Until you have all the information, you are just spraying messages out to the whole world and hoping to be lucky when it lands on someone who might have need for your product or service.

So what should “Makeup Artist A” have done?

Since she reached out on Instagram, the first message should’ve been something like...

“Hi Mr XYZ I think your photos are wonderful!”

After my response she could’ve followed up with...

“I’d love to be associated with artists like you, is that something you’d be willing to explore?”

If I responded with anything similar to a NO, then you now know to look elsewhere.

Anything close to a YES and more questions could have followed...

“Do you have a studio in ABJ?”
“Have you been in partnership with a makeup artist before? Why did the last partnership end?”
“Who are the kinds of customers you serve?”

These are the kinds of questions that will allow you to enter into a partnership where you get 10% for every customer you give the photographer, or maybe come up with a package where your services are thrown in with his basic pre wedding shoot package.

Both of you can only explore these kinds of proposals because you have a fair sense of who you are, where you’re coming from, and where you’re heading to.

Any proposal before this point is premature and is the product of guessing.

Why do all these things matter?

Because it is better to send 30 well thought out messages which results in 10 conversations and you enter into business deals with 5 people.

The alternative is to send 1,000 messages today, get ignored by 800, get blocked by another 100 (especially if you send these types of messages every year), only get 1 response, and you up doing no business deals with anyone.

The worst part about the second scenario is that eventually you’re going to get habitually ignored or blocked by most people on your contact list except for family members and school buddies.

So it’s not bad to reach out and say, “hey I was wondering if you need a makeup artist for your studio,” but maybe you should aim to have a conversation where you can explore different scenarios.

How did this actual conversation end?

I responded by saying, “no thanks I shut down my studio a long time ago” ...to which she responded “okay thanks.”

Don’t blame her, without an open conversation this is the only way most of these conversations will end.

Actually we should praise her because she sent out the message after all. Have you?

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