“Spring cleaning” is the annual practice of thoroughly cleaning a house or apartment in celebration of the new season. It dates to the time when homes were heated with burning wood (and, later, coal), which created soot and dirt that would cover your home and furnishings. The arrival of spring brought on a through cleaning, painting, and purge.
But a spring refresh is not limited to your home life. You can embrace the concept for your business, too. Now is the ideal time to “clean things out,” reset your expectations for the year, and refocus. That includes reevaluating your prospect list and, in some cases, reviewing and updating your office tech.
Start With Your USP
While others might suggest you need to begin developing your prospect list by reviewing your product understanding, if you don’t know your product, you may not be that successful. So, let’s assume you know your portfolio and what health plans offer what products and benefits. The next thing to focus on is building your buyer persona.
Who are your best prospects for what you have to offer? Where have you been most successful in your prior sales efforts? What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? What makes your pitch different? Why do you think it worked (or didn’t) in the past? Is there a specific sweet spot as far market niche or group size that makes up the bulk of your current book of business? Are there similar businesses that you can focus on going forward?
Creating Your Buyer Persona
Developing your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or buyer persona are next.
These include basic – and important – things you need to know about your prospects, such as:
- Company industry/type of business
- Company size
- Date business began (this may or may not be readily available)
- Annual revenue (this might be available for some businesses, but not others)
- Contact name, title
- Phone number
- Company innovation – has the company been in the news recently; is it known for anything special (like its adoption or development of leading tech)? Is it a candidate for merger?
You may be able to research prospective customers using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing can help you uncover useful info, too, about your prospect’s sales, target audience/current customers, values, awards, leadership participation with local charities, etc.
Engaging or Re-engaging Prospects
Whether your prospect list is all-new, a list of past and now-cold leads, or a combination of both, after you have a list, you need to prioritize it. What is the most-qualified company on your list? Who do you know the most about? Who do you just know something about – but not everything on your buyer persona list? Not everyone on your prospect list will be “fully qualified.” Some of the “holes” in your persona profile can be filled in after your first meeting, but you are more likely to succeed in your efforts if you prioritize your list of prospects.
Options for Outreach
You can initiate your outreach (or re-engagement) by email, mail, phone, online, or in-person. The least objectionable strategy for your prospect may be e-mail or online messaging. A personal note might work for others, especially if you’re trying to warm up a cold lead from the past. Some suggest using FedEx or another priority delivery method to draw attention to your message.
Cold calling – on the phone or in-person – is often intimidating for newer sales professionals. However, it doesn’t have to be when you have a plan. Be sure if you do get your prospect on the phone or face-to-face to ask open-ended questions to draw out the information you’ll need to develop a more personal pitch to address your customer’s needs.
Don’t overlook how your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help you with your lead scoring and prioritizing. And, of course, it can help you set up a campaign for regular communication. A drip campaign can be highly effective. CRM can also help you better manage your time and your overall block of business. Check out our 5 Signs You Might Need a CRM System post.
We’ve discussed prospecting in the past, including how to build your reputation through community involvement, sharing your expertise, and boosting word of mouth. You can revisit our prior suggestions in 7 Ways to Prospect as a Health Insurance Buyer. Although a few years old, another useful article by MarketVeep is We Miss You: How to Re-engage With Lost Leads. A more recent blog is Creating a Winning Sales Prospecting List: Template & Guide for 2023 published by Cognism.