Prospecting for Small Businesses

Gaining clients isn't an easy task. Especially in this economy, everyone is very cautious on how and where they spend their money. The bad news is that you can never stop prospecting. You must constantly be filling your pipeline with new potential clients. The good news is that there are some things you can do to make sure the referrals and prospects you have are quality and more likely to buy from you.

1. When you are trying to sell your services know who the gatekeeper is. Know their name and be nice to them.

2. Know who the decision maker is. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to reach someone for months at a time and then finding out they need approval to make the purchase.

3. Plan what you will say ahead of time. Make it short and sweet. Leave the prospect wanting more and wanting to ask questions.

4. If you are using the phone, put a mirror in front of yourself. If you are smiling they will hear it in your voice.

5. Use the telephone to set up in person appointments.

6. Ask your prospect lots of questions. Learn about their perceived problems and tell them how you can solve them.

7. Be polite, don't interrupt, and have answers ready to go.

8. Ask them if it is a good time to talk before you start in on your sales pitch.

9. Make sure your sales pitch doesn't sound like one. Emphasize the benefits you offer, not the service or product.

10. Look for prospects online, at in person events (such as Chambers of Commerce), in publications, ask friends or even use the telephone.