What Is The Best Way to Generate Prospects in a Competitive Industry?

I was recently asked how to best reach the largest number of prospects most efficiently in a competitive industry. Advertising? Social media? Cold calling?

I have actually been asked this question many times over the years. Even with all the advances in technology and social media marketing, my answer is still the same.

In a competitive industry, chances are any company that calls you from an advertisement or social media campaign would be after they know the price from their current carrier, found the price too high, and then decided to call you to get a quote. This is too late in the process for you to build value. It will only be a price war between carriers, and as the old saying goes, if you can win it on price, you can lose it on price.

Therefore, I think the best method of prospecting in a competitive industry, where there are numerous suppliers and little perceived difference between them in the marketplace, is the one where the sales rep initiates the contact, not the prospect.

The reason I say this is because direct prospecting, when done properly, is better able to answer 3 important questions:

  1. Are they a prospect?
  2.  If yes, then are they a prospect today?
  3. If not today, then when.

For example, those questions for you may be: 1. Are they a big enough company to have need for my widgets? 2. If so, is it the right time in their buying cycle or are they close enough to their renewal date to change suppliers today? 3. If not today, then when?

If you knew this information about every company in your geographic territory, then you would know exactly whom you should be contacting and when. Can you imagine how much more successful you would be if you were always in the right place at the right time? In my opinion, the best way to be working with the right prospect at the time when they are most likely to do business with you is where you initiate the contact either through direct prospecting or networking.

You could prospect yourself if you have the skills and the time, or, if you have a budget for marketing, you could hire someone to do the calls for you. We offer a lead generation service to our clients that is less expensive than most advertising if that is a potential option for you. Either way, the key to success in direct prospect is the approach script, and the qualifying questions used to determine is they can buy from you today or some time in the future.

Still don’t believe me?  If cold calling is dead, then why are so many SEO companies using it for their own lead generation? Want to chat about the best method of generating leads for your business? Feel free to book a free strategy meeting with me and we can discuss what’s right for you.

Remember as Arnold Glasco once said, “Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.”

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Coach and Author of Action Plan For Sales Success and Action Plan For Sales Management Success

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