Ask any small business owner what they would most like to have in their business and they more than likely will respond with, “more business!”
We all want clients calling and walking in the door with orders in hand. That’s why we engage in the game of sales and marketing.
So, the question is: Are your sales and marketing efforts working? Have you dumped thousands into a website, social media, and print advertising over the years with little return on investment? If so, what caused the sales and marketing failure?
You might be focusing too much effort on sales and marketing and too little on prospecting. Prospecting has to come before sales and marketing. It is a small distinction that will make your company money.
Here are some examples of marketing versus prospecting.
Some activities that define marketing in your business might be sending out email offers, writing e-books, posting on social media sites, writing a newsletter, creating video or audio podcasts, attending networking events, reviewing and updating your website, distributing fliers, handing out business cards or other print advertising and doing some public speaking.
Prospecting by comparison is about making a personal contact with someone. Cold calling, email solicitating with a follow up phone call the next day, following warm leads from client referrals, calling previous clients asking for referrals, and stopping by businesses in person to solicit business.
Prospecting is being face to face (or phone to phone) with someone to see if they are a good prospect to start and market/sell.
Prospecting needs to come first because having qualified prospects will allow you to get the most out of your sales and marketing budget.
You can work all day on creating a kick ass website, writing phenomenal content, and having an online presence, but at the end of the day if the phone doesn’t ring with a sale, there is no new business.
That small distinction between marketing and prospecting may seem trivial but it’s not. Often success comes from a small distinction that creates a massive shift in results.
Making sure that prospecting is part of your daily routine will shift your sales and marketing’s effectiveness. It is the critical step to getting every small business where it wants to be: having clients and customers walking in the door with orders in hand.