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People usually think of "sales prospecting" as the act of having reps get on the phone and call prospects, however there is a broader view of prospecting that encompasses a combination of calling efforts with supporting marketing efforts.
Some of these include:
- Direct Mail Distribute a mass mailing to customers to gain greater exposure for you, your company and its products and services. A particularly effective use of direct mail is to combine mail with phone follow-up
- White Papers Position yourself as a thought leader by writing white papers about your areas of expertise
- Email Marketing Send frequent emails to those contacts in your database promoting your products or services
- Business Cards Often the first impression created to a new customer, business cards can be used to leverage new business as they give you the chance to display your personality and a positive image on behalf of your company
- Tradeshows and Conferences These can serve as great forums for direct contact with potential clients
- Social Media Use blogs and other online social media channels to engage in conversation with members of your target audience and build a better brand
- Free Trials Give away trials of your products and services to those who would be most likely to do business with you
Other forms of Sales Prospecting include public speaking at events, phone calls, going to networking meetings and leveraging online search engines as a way of finding and reaching out to prospective clients.
Business Information Services, such as OneSource, provide rich company information, lists of executives, executive bios, and additional information to support sales prospecting efforts and give companies a competitive advantage.
Using a service like OneSource sales reps or marketing team members can create targeted prospecting lists by industry, geography, company size, or a number of other criteria that fit a company's target market.