This method is very direct, personal, and inexpensive. Little time is involved because modern technology allows a sales professional to contact many people in a couple of minutes. This method can demonstrate a success ratio of between five and eight sales out of every 100 calls. Many companies hire people to just call prospects from the phone book, or another prepared list they’ve obtained, with the hope of setting up an appointment for the sales professional. There is an industry that now exists that is in the business of generating prospect lists for telemarketing companies.
A fast and personal method that talks to the customer where they live.
With the rising cost of transportation and other selling costs, this tool of prospecting is really growing. Telecommunication companies are encouraging more businesses to take advantage of the phone by pushing telemarketing. More firms are spending an increased amount of time using the telephone as part of their daily prospecting strategy.
This method is sometimes used when leads cannot be uncovered any other way. Even though it is a last resort for some companies, it is the major prospecting device for companies that sell products like vacuum cleaners, cookware, magazines, books, knives, cleaning supplies, and photo albums. This method works best with products that everyone needs. Cold-canvassing can be tough, but you will find the least amount of competition there. This door-to-door method requires that sales professionals learn how to develop a positive first impression and good door approaches. This method depends on selling percentages and the percentage goes up if the sales professional has a pre-qualified prospecting list to utilize. The old rule still is “If you knock on so many doors, so many buyers will be found–it’s the law of averages.”
Door-to-Door selling is an old-traditional approach but still effective for products people need in the home.
Some products are sold best through parties. Almost everyone is acquainted with Tupperware parties. A sales professional asks a person to serve as hostess who will receive gifts and other inducements to hold a small party with a few close friends and neighbors. Demonstrations before groups are very effective because word-of-mouth interaction generates interest. Products that are normally sold through this method are crafts, toys, makeup, and the previously mentioned Tupperware. This is a popular profession for women who want to stay home and work part-time.
Industrial sales professionals set up booths at trade fairs and shows to demonstrate and display products to visiting buyers. These booths are very effective if they show attention-getting displays, multi-media presentations, and products that attract a crowd of people. The goal of this method is simple–to get names and addresses of potential buyers that later can be called. Many sellers that use this method will offer a free drawing for a product if visiting people simply fill out a slip with their name, address, and phone number–the development of an instant prospect list. Some sales do take place at the fair or show, but the main goal is to have your product present at a place where many potential buyers of your product will be visiting.
This method is used by many food chains, local radio stations, and general consumer magazine clearing houses. Prizes and gifts are offered to those who buy products or visit the place of business. Many sporting goods stores will have a “big buck contest” during the deer hunt. To enter, a hunter simply has to go into the store and register. Of course, the sporting goods store hopes that the hunter will pick up some last minute items before the big hunt.
Some companies offer coupons that allow the prospect to receive a reduction in the price of a product or service. A very common coupon method in this area is the use of coupon books that contain two-for-one offers. Buy one product at full price, and the second product is free. The goal of businesses that use this method is to have the consumer come back again and pay full price. By offering a coupon, you encourage customers to come into your business and try your product or service at least once. This method is also used by dry cleaners, supermarkets, car service companies and even by doctors.