Originally published in the Chuck Sink Link Newsletter
Sales prospecting is a vital and long-term business initiative.
You own a business so you’re in sales. You’re on the executive team, you’re in sales. You’re a marketing director – definitely in sales! If you’re in sales, well…
How long have you been doing this sales work of yours and what makes it pay off? What does it consist of? How much do sales cost your business to attain?
Every business has a cost of sales and it can be very high.
Let’s say your goal is to add 10 additional clients this year. What will it take to close business with them and how much will it cost your firm?
Sales activity carries high overhead when you consider the salaries, prospecting costs, travel costs, marketing costs, bad hiring decision costs and administrative costs all required to bring on new customers.
Are there no exceptions to the high cost of sales? What if nine years from now, a prospect you met once at a networking event or on a cold call contacts you and invites you in as the exclusive, pre-selected vendor for their needs. How much did that sale cost? Not much! Especially if you only made one call or shook hands once. However, it probably took more than that to earn the new customer. After all, you have strong competition that’s hungry for this client’s business, so why did they select you nine years after one brief introduction?
My nine-year scenario isn’t hypothetical, it’s a true story that came to fruition this week. The fact is, this real new customer of mine was put on an email list nine years ago after only one cold call visit. No direct contact in nine years, just the same newsletter that you’re reading, emailed every couple of weeks for a decade.
Stories like this happen all the time in business. There are three powerful lessons here. One is for salespeople, one for marketing people and all 3 are for company leaders:
1. Sales prospecting is a long term, sustaining initiative.
2. Effective marketing can be like sales on steroids, set on autopilot.
3. The interdependence of sales & marketing needs to be nurtured for compatibility and continual harmony.
I’ve been selling for a long time in related industries (various marketing services) and I’m making sales this year with people I contacted many years ago, even while working for different companies. The one thing these prospects have in common is they all got on my email list and chose to stay subscribed. The content they receive is continually value driven and must pass a strict quality standard – yours!