Opportunities for sales professionals to land new business are everywhere. Some of the best opportunities don’t come from “pre-qualified” prospect cards or e-mail campaigns.
Yet they’re readily available when you browse the Internet, turn on talk radio or watch a news show on cable. Sadly, most sales reps don’t see the news as a prospecting resource because they don’t make the mental connection.
However, once you get a handle on where to look and what to look for, sales opportunities can jump off the page.
Watch for trigger events
What should you look for when reading trade journals, websites or the business news section? Basically, any news event can serve as a trigger.
“Trigger events” can take place inside a company, such as a new strategic move, management or ownership change, rapid growth, or global expansion.
External triggers can be new state or federal regulations, natural disasters, or the emergence of a new player in the market.
Such events ripple through an organization, and often require top managers to take a second look at decisions they’ve made.
One example: A change in the tax code might have big effects on corporate accounting rules. You can bet that new priorities will surface and move to the front burner.
Another: Mergers are a particularly fertile opportunity. Some areas where your solutions could be of value:
- Training on new products, solving channel conflicts, fixing compensation discrepancies, or handling CRM systems integration.
- Faster time-to-market strategies for new products, retooled assembly lines, supply chain revamping, or maybe worldwide logistics help.
- The Information Technology geeks probably need help with integrating legacy systems, moving to “cloud computing” solutions or meeting the demand for remote access.
A third example: A host of opportunities can come your way as a result of poor financial performance – especially if it’s lasted for two or three consecutive quarters.
Struggling companies can be fine prospects, because frustrated leaders will be open to ideas that help achieve top-line or bottom-line business objectives.
Capitalizing on news
The key to success, once you’ve spotted a “trigger event,” is to think through how it changes a prospect’s needs and how you can match your offering to that new set of needs.
When you reach out to prospects, speak in terms of their business. Remember, they don’t care about your award-winning products or whiz-bang features. They will care about the results you can deliver.
When you call, frame the opening conversation around their business issues and share with them the results you have delivered. Then suggest a next step.
Plenty of companies need the solutions you offer because of what’s happened in their business. That “news hook” may be all it takes to get your prospect to give you a fresh look.
Source: From a post by Jill Konrath. Visit www.jillkonrath.com to learn more.
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