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Bill Conner, Business Consultant » Blog Archive » The Prospecting Hierarchy, Part One: Direct Sources

The Prospecting Hierarchy, Part One: Direct Sources

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Understanding the various sources that might produce prospects is essential to developing sales. We group the sources in two categories. Direct Sources is when we approach prospects without a recommendation. Cold Calling is at the bottom of the prospecting hierarchy because we use a list or make contact with prospects without any prior contact. This approach provides a large list, but creates a high rejection rate which causes stress and career burnout. Using marketing/advertising is the next step in the direct source process. Your prospect may have heard of your business or firm, but has little knowledge of you as an individual. Networking and lead sharing creates a better avenue of success as we become involved in meeting other people, but these groups usually have no formal recommendation process to enhance opportunities. An opportunity to give a speech to a group creates prospects within an audience, but does not provide a recommendation situation. Finally you have people you know that you can approach. This is the highest level of a direct source, but success depends solely on your relationship with the prospect. Prospects coming from direct sources are more skeptical of your approach, will more readily reject your overtures, will create a sales orientation versus a customer service atmosphere, and will provide less time to give quality service to your prospect.

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