Thursday, April 05, 2007

Prospecting yields are low--get used to it

I've recently talked to a couple of self-employed folks who came out of corporate staff jobs. Their unanimous opinion: marketing is a pain in the neck!

When I probed a bit, I found their frustration centered on the low conversion of prospects to sales. And on further probing, it became clear that their expectations for closing rates were much too high. "I meet someone, or get a referral, I give them a proposal. How come they don't buy?"

Buyers need to be ready, willing and able to purchase your product or service. Many of the prospects you encounter are: unqualified, not interested, not ready, not able to make purchases, distracted, etc. Depending on your business, 80%/90%/95% of the leads you get won't pan out, even if you do a good job selling.

The key is to find the nuggets of gold in your prospect list as quickly as possible, and don't waste time on the others (though you want to keep their information handy for future marketing--so that when they are ready, willing, and able, you are top of mind for them).

And that implies you must focus on lead generation. Frustration at conversion yields often truly means you didn't get enough prospects into the top of the funnel to have an adequate level of closed business out the other end.

So stop complaining, and start prospecting.

, , ,