How Many Prospect Do You Really Need?
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How Many Prospect Do You Really Need?

How Many Prospect Do You Really Need?

By John Jantsch

The customer ocean can be a pretty big place to go fishing. So, why not fish in the pond out back instead?

Here’s what I mean.

Most small businesses make the mistake of trying to attract that attention of members of the entire universe of potential customers. Not only is this a tough way to market, it’s terribly inefficient as well. If you only need a handful of clients, why not concentrate on marketing to a handful of prospects.

My suggestion is that you determine how many new customers you need next year to grow your business as you’ve planned (I know, you don’t have a plan, but how many do you need to keep paying the bills and make some money?)

From that number, take a stab at how many really qualified prospects you would need to get your message in front of to acquire the customers you need. For example, if you need or want 10 new customers a month, you may only need to generate 50 really qualified appointments to get that.

So, here’s the point. What if, instead of trying to get your 50 appointments from the sea of prospects, you identified 500 very qualified suspects (BTW: A suspect is someone that you suspect may need what you do – they only become a prospect when they raise their hand and ask for more information about what you do.) and made an all out push to educate them on why you are the obvious choice for them?

When you work with a smaller, more reasonable number of suspects you can afford to spend the necessary time and resources to get their attention and communicate how you are different. With a defined group of suspects you can create a budget that allows you to contact every member of this list once a month, including calling every single one of them to follow-up on a mailing. Your marketing efforts to this chosen group will be far more effective and far more focused.

One of key elements to the success of this approach, of course, is that you work with a list of suspects that actually meet your ideal target client profile. If you don’t know that piece of the puzzle you may end up fishing on the wrong side of the pond.

My experience is that when you can get your arms around this very qualified suspect list they become more real, more manageable. When you can start to put names and addresses to your potential clients you can actually begin to see them as clients. You can identify others who could refer you to members of this list. You can afford to start building marketing profiles on each to better personalize your marketing efforts.

Cast your line out into this pond and you may find that even the big fish are biting.

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