Who Likes to Prospect?

By Mike Philie
In April 13, 2010

Dumb question right? Maybe I should have asked “who likes to make money?” Now I’ve got your attention. No doubt there’s a strong correlation between prospecting and making money, better yet, prospecting effectively and with a purpose!

Let’s create a checklist for what you need to be successful in prospecting for new clients and new opportunities within existing clients.

A clear and objective definition of what type of client you’re actually looking for. i.e. Type of industry, size, national, regional, and how they use print to support their efforts;

A source for finding those prospects such as referrals, trade associations, industry publications (on line and off line), company sponsored events such as educational seminars and lunch & learns, lead generation tools that include direct mail, email or social networking initiatives, good ‘ol fashioned networking and a host of other sources I’m sure;

Speaking of referrals, have a program in place that solicits them from your existing clients and contacts. Set goals for how many you need each month and don’t leave it to chance;

Have a plan in place with goals etc. for how many of these leads you need to chase each week;

What’s your story?? Why should they see you or be interested in your organization? Take the time to prepare a compelling and convincing approach for getting not only their initial attention but for further differentiating your services from the rest of the pack-without it you don’t stand a chance;

Keep track of your progress and create your own personal scorecard for success.

Practice, practice, practice. Be the best that you can be at this important step in business development. If you’re not good at it get some help. Buy a book, read up on it on-line, get a good prospecting coach to help you but do something to improve your odds at winning the prospecting game;

Finally, do it every day.

There’s not a lot of magic in doing this. It’s hard work and usually left for when your “good” clients have gone silent. Like a well-oiled machine, prospecting works best when it’s running all the time, not in fits and starts. Continued success!

Mike Philie

Mike works with printing companies that are not satisfied with their sales and business development performance, and are looking to get objective advice and strategic direction on how to improve the results of their business. His engagements can range from providing input on the overall sales strategy to building business development pipelines while training the processes of “selling” in today’s marketplace. Mike quickly establishes himself as a trusted resource and advisor to the owners and senior staff of his client companies through his personal involvement, and very quietly and effectively becomes an extension of their staff.


  1. Hi Mike
    What are your thoughts in how this fits in with networking groups, such as BNI. There is a serious influx of them at the moment here in the UK?

  2. Networking groups can be a valuable source of business leads. I have several clients that participate in BNI groups and they find it helpful. Some cities will have more than one group so you may want to shop around to find a group that you’ll enjoy. Like any group that you join though, the true success comes from getting involved and participating. The old saying “the more you give, the more you get” rings true in any networking environment. Hope that helps.

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