In this part of the series: “How Small and Mid Sized Firms Grow” we will discuss how to prospect to increase your market share.
In order to grow one can not rely simply on their current clients to feed them more business. They need to prospect for new business. They can do this by finding new opportunities with their current clients or prospecting for new business with accounts not presently serviced.
The first step is to find other department and people with decision making authority for your service in other parts of the company that you are currently serving. Nothing works better then an internal reference and it is surprising how many people deal with one person or department within an organization, not asking their contact to help then network within that company for more business. You may have to link through several people to find the right person, but keep on plugging. You may even find that other people in your own company are trying to solicit business from your company, while you already have an in that you are not cultivating.
The next step is to determine who are prospect that you should try to do business with. The sources you can use are many, including personal contact, networking through those same contacts, using the Internet to search for companies in your line of business, in your market area, buying a contact list that are available from dozens of marketing firms, reading the newspapers and blogs to find leads, going to industry association meetings and webinars, checking back with prior clients and reactivating them, etc.
Once you have your universe of prospects you need to find out which ones are worthwhile to spend your time in cultivating. You can glean this from going back to the sources noted above and queering them as to the market potential represented by the prospects in terms of size of the company, how large they are with respect to the services that you offer, upgrading your purchased contact list to indicate market potential with your marketing niche, etc. If you can find out whose business is completely locked up and their client is totally satisfied you can eliminate those who are theoretically a great prospect, but are practically not. This is not always very easy, but necessary.
You then want to determine who may not be fully satisfied with the services they are getting, who is growing and should have needs, who is in the news or the blogosphere which can provide valuable contact tips, etc. Once you have all this information you can rank people from the highest to the lowest on the potential scale. It is then time to determine how to contact them, referral, email, telephone call, etc. and how to set yourself apart with a value proposition, but that is part of another discussion.
In our next blog we will discuss how to maximize the market value of your business.
To see all articles in this series please go to http://optimal-mgt.com/blog.
Optimal Management is the premier management consulting company to the staffing industry. We act as mentors to owners and managers to maximize their sales, profits and value of their company. We become an extension of our clients operations and are there for all of their staffing and business needs, from sales, marketing and compensation plans, to finance, M&A, general management and everything in between.
We welcome your questions as to personal and business challenges you face in order to grow.