Mindful Prospecting
Building A Relationship 6/14/2019 | Paul Kiewiet, Pursuit of Purpose
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Where and how to find new customers — prospecting — is a “lifeblood” activity for any salesperson or organization. And while I have in some of my presentations “How do you prospect? Always and All Ways!” I think many of us get a little bit over-eager and end up chasing the wrong customers.

In my opinion, there is only one thing worse than No Customers and that is having the Wrong Customers. While No Customers means the stress of worrying about how to pay the rent — Wrong Customers add to that worry with a whole lot of hoop-jumping, kissing of the southern end of a northbound prospect, and wasted time and effort.

Think about who it is you really want to work with and for. If you already have one great client make a list of the attributes of that client so you know what you’re looking for. Your job is to clone your best customer. To that, you need to prospect mindful of with whom you wish a long term relationship.

Tips for Mindful Prospecting:

  1. 1. Know with what companies and what types of people you want to do business. What are their characteristics? What types of problems will you be able to solve with them? What industries will you serve? Pay attention to their demographics as well.
  3. 2. Demand respect. You are a professional offering professional problem-solving and have real answers to help them do business better. You don’t need to grovel. You don’t need to beg. Know your worth and present your value proposition with confidence.
  5. 3. Earn respect. If you’re already wondering if you can do number two above, you may need to start by understanding the medium you have chosen as your profession. You need to be able to articulate what problems you can help with and how prospects can use your services to live a better life. (Yes, really!)
  7. 4. Understand that great clients just don’t happen overnight. It can take on average about sixteen touches to start a relationship. (I’ve had great clients that have taken up to nineteen years to land). Use that time to learn about the prospect’s business, industry, and toughest challenges. Use that time to craft break-through compelling reasons for them to get to know you. Be Patient.
  9. 5. Earning new clients is like getting a job or starting a career. Prepare like you’re preparing for an interview for your dream job. Study the company, the organization chart and know what your objective needs to be for each contact. (Hint: You are not closing a product sale on your first personal contact. More likely, you’re selling a first appointment).
  11. 6. Starting a client relationship is like starting a personal one. Prepare to take it slow - to get to know each other and to build TRUST. Show them how you are not just out to get a one-night sale but have a future in mind.

Choose the right customers and mindfully choose those who will become loyal, long-term, profitable and importantly — fun to work with and make both of you feel good.

Paul Kiewiet MAS+ is an industry speaker, writer, consultant and coach. He serves as the executive director of MiPPA. Kiewiet was inducted into the PPAI Hall of Fame and the MiPPA Hall of Fame. He served as Chairman of PPAI in 2007. A former distributor, he founded Promotion Concepts, Inc in 1982 and worked with some of America’s most valuable brands including Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, and Whirlpool.

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