When you decide to be self-employed, you are not only a political strategy consultant, but you are also an accountant, secretary, salesman and sometimes even a computer scientist… And all at the same time! Unless you have the budget to use outside providers. So I had to develop some methods to perform all these functions effectively. I’ll tell you about my tips for organizing my work in the near future; for now, here are my prospecting methods.
Choose your land/s for prospecting
The first question to ask is: where to look for and find my clients? Before you even think about how to approach them and convince them to offer my services, you still need to know who my clients are and where they are. So I established a first WHO list in which I listed all categories of people, companies and administrations likely to become prospects. I then drew up a list OR listing the places where I can easily approach them, whether for physical or digital prospecting.
Remember: You can’t be everywhere at once, especially if you don’t have an employee to delegate certain tasks to. Therefore, in order not to waste your energy, focus on a limited number of spaces, especially on the internet.
My exploration grounds
- POLITICAL EVENTS (PROFESSIONAL LOUNGES FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS, AFTERWORKS AND NETWORKING EVENTS, CONFERENCES)
- REVIEWS, PRESS ARTICLES AND SPECIALTY PROGRAMS
- WORD OF MOUTH
Contact your prospect
Once the prospect is found, you still need to contact him. If it sounds simple for a prospect encountered at an event (as long as he gave you his business card), on social networks (contact profile), it will be more difficult for a prospect spotted in the press. It will then be a matter of finding your contact information from the information you have. And these are not always as precise as we would like!
Find a lead’s contact information in 3 steps
- Type your name on a search engine followed by “contact.” If you find a direct number and/or email address, this is perfect. You can go!
- If you can’t find any direct contact, you’ll at least find its function in the company or organization he or she works for. You will be able to contact the company directly to obtain its contact details.
- If you can’t find any phone or email contacts, you can send a letter in his name to the company’s or organization’s address.
Remember: Don’t hesitate to raise by recalling if you don’t have an answer following your first contact.
How to contact your prospect
- By email: for my part, I always start by sending a first email in which I introduce myself and I recall the context of our meeting and possibly the subject of our exchange by adding more precise information on the issue and then I propose to my interlocutor to come back to me by email or phone for further explanations. If he calls back or sends me an email the negotiations can begin!
- By phone: if after a week my first email goes unanswered, I pick up my phone to call the prospect. The approach remains the same: introduce myself, remind him of the context of our meeting and move forward in the discussion until an appointment is reached.
The essentials to turn a prospect into a customer
Prospecting is a long-term undertaking and requires a lot of patience. Don’t be too rushed, even if financial constraints can lead to things being done in a hurry. The prospect should not be rushed, or risk having him flee. On the contrary, you have to gradually take him where you want him to go, always giving him the impression that he made the decision to go and not you who drove him there. Here are some essential elements, in my opinion, to make a prospect a customer:
- Be clear and precise: it is essential to present things in the clearest way possible so that the prospect knows exactly what you want and where you are coming from. If you want the prospect to follow you, you need to make it clear where you’re going!
- Give them complete information: if you send your prospect a proposal, you must send him precise and flawless documents both in terms of form and content. That is also what your credibility will depend on.
- Don’t harass your prospect: sometimes you have to know how to stop. If a prospect is not interested in your offer, they will tell you or make it clear to you by not answering you. If after three calls or emails, you still haven’t received a response when your prospect is likely to be available, consider that they don’t want to follow up on your proposal. In this case, the only solution is to stop sending the proposal back or calling it. However, if he is not interested in the immediate future, this does not mean that the situation will not change in the near future. In this case, I send a last email to indicate that I remain at his disposal if he needs it and I stop the raises by email or phone. However, I keep it in the mailing list of my newsletters to remind me of his fond memories.
And you? What are your prospecting methods?