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Bill Conner, Business Consultant » Blog Archive » The Prospecting Hierarchy, Part Two Relationship Sources

The Prospecting Hierarchy, Part Two Relationship Sources

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I wrote in my last post about Direct Sources in prospecting where you approach the prospect directly, without a recommendation. In The Prospecting Hierarchy, Relationship Sources, defined as an approach to a prospect with a recommendation, will provide much better results.

A Target List is the first level in relationship sources. A Target List is a list of prospects or companies with whom you want to do business. You show your list to potential referral sources to obtain a referral.

The next step, Referrals, is more advantageous. A referral source recommends you to a prospect for a match. This is considered an informal referral and requires the prospect to create action. You must contact the prospect using your referral source’s name to create a bond with the prospect. You should be developing prospects from your present Customer Base.

The next level is where you are “mining” your client base to reach prospects within the company of your client. You may be working with the sales department in a firm and you prospect with the human resource department by using your past relationship with the sales department.

The next step in Relationship Sources is to create Centers of Influence. Centers of Influence have influence with possible prospects for you and they use it to refer effectively over time.

The highest level Relationship Sources is a Referral Partner. This will be discussed in my next post. Keep in mind, using Relationship Sources in prospecting is advantageous because you show a customer service orientation within your business, create a good impression before you meet, build trust quickly, and obtain more success in sales.

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