Why is finding NEW customers so hard?
Recently I’ve been asking myself, “Why is finding new customers so hard?”
For those of us that run businesses and are responsible for its well-being and growth, it’s a question that haunts us every waking moment.
We believe in the value the products we provide.
We have evidence that customers love our product.
We can sell it when given the chance to speak to a person in need of what we have.
So, why is it so hard to find new customers?
It is exactly this question that led me to read Mike Weinberg’s book entitled New Sales Simplified: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development.
What I’ve learned from Mike is that prospecting for new business is a talent and skill all its own. Prospecting is a specialty within the sales profession and the truth is most salespeople actually struggle with it – yet finding new customers, in any business, must get done and done well.
What are the top three reasons people fail at effective, productive new business development?
They Haven’t Had to or Don’t Know How
They Can’t “Tell the Story”
They Have Awful Target Account Selection and a Lack of Focus
Do you or your team struggle with one of those?
I'll admit that I struggle with #1 and #3.
Let’s take a look at each of these three reasons why business development efforts fail and briefly discuss what can be done to address them.
They Haven’t Had to or Don’t Know How. Many people that run businesses or are in sales have never been in position to have to find new business. Taking care of existing customers in good times has kept many a salesperson busy. But, when times get tough or existing customers disappear, they get scare, lost, confused and unsure how to even begin the process of hunting for new business. That’s why having a simple, step-by-step approach as Mike provides is so helpful.
Do you have Hunters or Order Takers? Do you have a step-by-step process they can follow?
They Can’t “Tell the Story.” Your company’s sales story is your single most important weapon because you use it every day—it needs to be clear, compelling and delivered with passion. To be clear and compelling, differentiation is key. It creates intrigue and opens the door for expanded dialogue. A powerful sales story can literally change the attitude and outlook of a company and entire sales team, energizing everyone to deliver it with passion.
How satisfied are you with the sales story you currently use? What’s missing?
They Have Awful Target Account Selection and a Lack of Focus. You can’t do prospecting for new customers if you don’t know where to look. A proactive new business hunter requires a strategically selected list of target customers in order to execute efficiently and deliver results. Don’t leave this critical list up to random chance or someone’s comfort zone, take the time to get yourself and other senior members of your team together to decide where your limited business development time needs to be invested.
What must be done to ensure your target list is full of ideal potential clients, finite and focused?
Those are only three of the sixteen reasons Mike has identified for why business development efforts fail!!
In Mike's book he presents a simple, three-step process to address all the challenges we face finding new customers.
Select targets – a strategically selected, finite, focused, workable list of target accounts
Create and deploy weapons – assemble and use all the specific tools needed to effectively and consistently tell “Your Sales Story”
Plan and execute the attack – the critical disciplines it takes to get into and stay in action mode
Mike digs deep into each of these steps providing:
Stories of real-world examples of what works, what doesn’t and why
Simple to understand and follow instructions on how to do what’s required in each step
Actual proven scripts that work and can be adapted to fit any business
Hunting for new business is never easy and no process when used will instantly build your customer base, but having a simple, executable process at least removes the question in one's mind of "Is what I am doing even the right thing to do? "
I am following this three-step process in my business today.
Do you know someone that could benefit from this information? Forward this post to them; if they reach out to me with a question—I will answer them personally.
Be encouraged. Be strong. Be courageous.
BTW: I am not affiliated with Mike Weinberg and his products and services. I share this resource because I’ve used them with my clients, and they work.