Tools for First Contact
There are still industrial sales people that literally “knock” doors. They walk into an office of a prospect and try to speak to the responsible person. I admire those people. I would never have the guts to make such a first move. The methods I use to get in contact the first time will be discussed in this article. The best method depends on:
· The type of service or product you market.
· Which industrial segment you are serving.
· The type of contact person (e.g. engineer, project manager, commercial, purchasing, etc.)
· The preferences of the individual sales person.
Calling is Efficient for Both
In my next blog I will share some facts and fiction in relation to calling as method to establish first contact. In this article I would like to mention it as one of the best ways to get into contact with industrial prospects. The sales person and the prospect are almost at the same level of understanding in the beginning of the call. The sales person wants to know the challenges of the prospect, the prospect wants to know what the sales person can mean for him. Within a relatively short period of time you will conclude if it is worth to take the next step, or not.
Emailing is Efficient but Annoying
The prospects you are targeting are possibly on the lead list of many of your colleagues. All of them are sending emails. Many of them ask for meetings. Be careful in sending your emails. The minimum requirement is that you personalize the email. Mass emails are the first on the road to the “trash can”. Furthermore keep your email short. The email should state your believe on what you could do for the prospect to improve his “world” and the intention of your email. Do not forget to mention the next step. It might be a call for action by the recipient or the next step you will undertake.
Meeting at Exhibition is Excellent
In one of my previous blogs I discussed the exhibition as useful event to generate leads. For establishing first contact with your targeted prospects the exhibition can be useful in case your specific prospect is also visiting the event. The time investment for your prospect is limited and therefore meeting at exhibitions might be worth considering. Be careful with planning the meeting. The hectic at the exhibition might cause your prospect to be delayed or unfocused.
"Do not expect to meet your desired prospect when entering a booth at the exhibition floor, unless your ideal client is a sales person."
Be Different and Polite
Whatever method you choose, you can only make one first impression. When you fail to make a good impression all your next steps will be less efficient and you might find yourself struggling. Try to be different when approaching your prospect for the first time. Keep the focus on the "world" of the client.