A Simple & Effective Prospecting Program, Part 2

In yesterday's post, I talked about making outside prospecting easier to get done by looking at it in a different way in that you don't go in trying to get a sale, but instead, to gather information. Plus, going in with a sincere interest in their business, bearing some small gifts and no agenda other than to recognize their business, rejection is a non-issue. Of course, we have in the forefront of our mind to recognize any ways that we can be of service to them and as we discover those ways, we will later make an appointment to discuss these things with the business. So, the first visit is truly just information gathering. There is nothing to sell yet. We hope there will be (and we know there will be), for this is not an altruistic endeavor, but today is just a visit.

Today, I want to offer another way to look at prospecting. Many might think that the reason we go into a business prospecting is to get that businesses vehicle business. Of course, that makes sense and is true; however, that is like looking at the tip of the iceberg. Remember that what is showing above the water in the iceberg is about one tenth of the size of the iceberg. What I want you to see is the rest of the iceberg along with the tip. I want you to think about all of the employees who work there, the vendors that supply the business, their client base and the people each of them knows. That is the bottom of the iceberg and that is the really exciting thing to see when you look at prospecting a business.

All of that business like the iceberg is hidden. How can you extract the value out of it? Let me give you some ideas to ponder.

First things first is to recognize that it is there and see the potential value of it. Second, think about the overall view many people have of the car business. Since I left the car business in 1997, I have bought vehicles myself and going to a car dealership to look is a ragged experience at many lots. Knowing what I know will help me make the best deal of the situation, but I still have to put up with the stupid systems. You know, the sales systems that have young people out front who really know very little about their product, don't have much skill, and can't wait to turn you over to a closer. Then the closer has to barter with the sales manager to get you the deal and on and on and on. It is distasteful at best. If I had to deal with that when I was in the car business, I would have left it long before I did. I like knowledgeable salespeople who take control from start to finish. Many dealerships have "the system" because it is easy and cheap to deal with. So think about all of that and how people feel about it. How would you feel about it? Yet in the commercial or fleet department, the sales process is smoother and straight forward, right? None of that going back and forth. You also know that your customers love that. They love not having to deal with the retail game.

Now think about all those employees who drove their car or truck to work. How would they feel if they could deal with you instead of the retail game? You could provide great value to them, right? You could ensure they get a fair deal while you do the same, right? It is a win-win situation that is a pleasant experience, right? So how can you translate that into an opportunity to serve them in this way? You can offer up a flyer with a program of how all of the employees of that company will qualify for fleet pricing through the venue of the business they work for! How cool is that? It might be their very first pleasant buying experience! This can be offered as a free service to the company and a flyer can be issued to each employee. You could even have them personalized for each business to give it a bit more credibility. Now you can begin to mine the larger part of the iceberg which is the employee base. This will happen over time, but because of the number of employees, it can have an excellent return on your efforts. What a great way to communicate your services to many in one location! Don't forget all the people they know and all the referrals you can get because of how great the experience will be for their purchase.

There is so much business in that one shop! Just think if you went to just five of these businesses a day! Only five. That would move you so much further ahead than what you have been doing. Plus, you're becoming more proactive in creating business for yourself and the dealership. Think about the possibilities, get excited about them. Now, sit down, think about this and plan out some ways you think would work well in your initial approach along with your follow up visits. It's much more fun and profitable than waiting around. For sure.

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