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Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

Marketing and SEO0 comments

Every business needs a consistent supply of leads (potential clients) to grow, thrive and stay in business. When you first start a business, it is very easy to get clouded with thoughts about your business process, organization, and growth that you forget the one thing that determines if your business succeeds; “SALES”.

Your business needs a sales team! Closing deals is what keeps your business in business. Your sales team is responsible for finding new potential clients (leads) and educating them to a point where they become warm leads ( a warm lead is a person who has shown an interest in your product or service) who can then proceed to purchase your product or service.

Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

Terms used:

-Ideal Customer Profile: This is an outline with details of who your ideal clients are. Every business needs an ideal customer profile to help market their products or services to the right people. An ideal customer profile could have details such as; Industry: Agriculture, Niche: Farmers, Age: 30 – 55, Position: Owner, and much more.

-Ideal client persona: synonymous with ideal customer profile

-Leads: A lead is a person or organization who could be a potential purchaser of your product or service.

So, who is a Prospect?

A prospect is simply a person or organization that matches your ideal customer profile but is yet to show any interest in your products or services. Say you owned a drug manufacturing company and you wanted to go into business with pharmacies in Texas. Your ideal client could be a female CEO who has 4 or more years of experience in managing a pharmacy located in Texas, this would mean that every female CEO who matches your ideal client profile could be regarded as your prospect.

How do you determine the right prospects for your business?

This is like asking “how do you determine the right client for your business?”. In order to determine who your ideal clients are, you must take a good look at the products or services you offer. What problem does your product or service solve?

Study abroad: We help you get admission to study abroad. Niche-specific: we help you get admission to study aeronautical engineering in Spain.

Real-estate broker: We help broker deals to provide you a home. Niche-specific: we help construction companies in Kyiv, Ukraine purchase land for building projects in South Africa.

Dentist-clinic: We help keep your teeth healthy. Niche-specific: we help children with malpositioned teeth and jaws get their smiles back.

Health coach: We help you eat right and stay healthy. Niche-specific: we help young women with obesity lose weight and get healthier.

Ecommerce small business: We sell beautiful blue shirts. Niche-specific: we sell custom created shirts for female medical students.

When you understand the broad problem your business solves, you can start creating different ideal client profiles or personas. If you are a small business just starting out, it is advisable you stick to one specific niche instead of going for many. This will help you save more and grow faster. The key to growing your customer base is understanding your ideal clients and their pain points. If you offer people a solution to their problem, they’ll gladly pay you to take away those problems but first, you must understand them.

What to do next

After you determine who your prospects are, you must invest time into learning all you can about them. Learning to understand your prospects increases your chances of converting them into clients. Think about it for a second, if a salesperson hits you up to sell a product but you get the feeling that they just want your money and don’t really understand your problems, will you still make that purchase? That is why it is so important for you to understand your ideal clients, you must understand their thought process and what goes on in their head. Here is one scenario;

Health coach: prospect may want to get fit but lacks motivation, the prospect may have low self-esteem, the prospect may research a lot about weight loss diet plans.

When you truly understand your prospect’s thought process, you can offer solutions that help them.

Learn about their pain points.

Step1: what do they need? Do they need to get fit? Do they need a sales software? Do they need your cereal? Do they need your product or service?

Step2: Why do they need it? (also regarded as your prospect’s pain points, “the why”)

Step3: How can you help? This is much deeper than a “why”. A “why” could be to “get fit” whereas a “how” could be “3 gym sessions a week and a strict meal plan to follow”. See the difference?

After understanding your prospect’s pain points, create content that gives answers to their pain points (write blogs, make a vlog, share posts on social channels). The more you can educate your prospects about your solutions, the greater chance you have at converting them to clients.

A deep dive into Prospecting:

Prospecting is the process of reaching out to a number of your ideal clients (prospects) with the goal of creating interest and converting them into paying clients.

Prospecting has been around among b2b companies for a while now. B2b also referred to as “business to business” is the marketing of products or services between two businesses or organizations. When two businesses want to go into business with each other, the purchase decision is usually based upon ROI (return on investment). How does your product or service help my business? Is it worth it? does it have a positive impact on the bottom line? These are some questions b2b clients rely on to make a purchase decision.

B2C businesses can also acquire quality data insights that can be used to create personalized outreach messages in other to carry out prospecting. For example, a Real estate (b2c) company can acquire information such as Expired listings, and FSBOs. With expired listings, you have prospects who were willing to sell their houses but for some reason did not make that sale. You can reach out to them and try to close a deal.

Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

How to carry out prospecting for your business:

Prospecting is the process of reaching out to a number of your ideal clients (prospects) with the goal of creating interest and converting them into paying clients.

To pull prospecting off you need to do the following:

  1. Acquire a list of prospects you intend on reaching out to.

Without a list of people that you can get in contact with, there is no prospecting. So, how do you get a list of prospects that you can use for prospecting?

  1. Facebook: Join Facebook groups where your ideal clients hang out. For example; if your ideal clients are dentists, you can find Facebook groups for dentist clinic owners and join. Make meaningful contributions based on your ideal customer’s pain points. This could be like writing an article that explains how dentist owners can “insert pain point + solution” and then put a link back to your website. It’s important to optimize your website to collect more leads. You can also use the Facebook search filter to find your prospects and send them a direct message.

Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

  • Go to your Facebook account,
  • Search for a keyword your prospect may have in a post. (for example, if you sell plane tickets, your clients could have the keywords “travel lifestyle” in one of their posts.
  • Look for filters on the left and filter by location, post type, group and more.
  • Filter through all the posts and find prospects that fit your profile.
  1. Instagram: You need to think like your prospects here. Think about the hashtags your prospects could be using, find posts with that hashtag in your area and send them a direct message. This works like a charm for b2b companies. Every business uses unique hashtags, so it is easy to find out which hashtags relate to a business niche. For example, a health coach could use #fitness or #weightloss or #fitnesscoach. For b2c businesses, you can use hashtags you think your clients are most likely to use and engage with them.

3. LinkedIn: Like Facebook, LinkedIn has groups you could follow and contribute in. You can connect with hundreds of your ideal clients and create content they can relate to. Could your ideal clients be in a certain job role? LinkedIn is a space for professionals, and you can make a lot of business if you use it well. TIP: Use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator for specific targeting to gain quality prospects.

  1. Google:Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

     

    There are a lot of public records online that can be used to create a prospect list. B2b companies can leverage Google My Business profiles to find prospects from any niche and location. Just input your keyword into the Google search bar and check locations on the Map. Select the businesses that match your ideal client profile and reach out to them.

  1. Lead Generation Tools: There are several lead generation softwares online today. A very good example is leadfuze.com. You can use lead generation software’s to automate your lead generation process. The more qualified prospects you can find, the higher your chances of converting them into paying clients.
  1. Create an Outreach Script Sequence:

You need to send outreach messages in the form of (LinkedIn direct messages, Social media direct messages, Cold Emails, Cold calls or Text messages) to your list and try to convert them into warm leads (People interested in your product or service). Over 90% of cold prospects never reply to the first message you send them. This means you must prepare a series of messages that will help you turn your cold prospects warm. The goal of your outreach sequence is to educate and qualify prospects on your list into dead leads or warm leads. Dead leads are people who have no interest at all in what you have to offer while warm leads have shown interest and may want to make a purchase from you. Your outreach sequence should be able to educate and qualify your prospects in 4 to 6 steps. If you want an example of a sequence, you can click on this link and download it now for free. Note: This is a sequence that you can use as a starting point to create better sequences for your business. The idea is to try out a lot of things and find out which works best for you. Remember that marketing is 80% testing and 20% optimization.

  1. Find a sending medium:

When you have a list with 20 prospects, it is going to be easy sending out emails, texts or cold calling with everyday mediums like Gmail, Yahoo mail, Local SMS, Direct local or international calls.

But it gets difficult when you must reach out to more prospects in other to close deals. If your list is as large as 500 to 1000+ prospects, then you need to find a more sophisticated medium that can automate your prospecting process and save you a lot of time and hard labor. You can make use of tools like;

Email Cold outreach tools:  mailshake, reply.io

Cold calling tools: Zadarma, zoho, zoiper.

Texting tools: Zadarma

These tools are a good start to help with your prospecting.

  1. Reach out and track conversions:

Send out emails, make a ton of calls, send several direct messages to your prospects, educate them on your products or services and convert them into clients. When you are starting out, you will need to carry out a lot of adjustments to see what really works for your business. Find out which messages are working best, why prospects replied to you, and which medium suits your business model more. You should really download our free outreach sequence; it will help you start prospecting on the right foot.

A lot of business owners hate prospecting as they feel it may not be their style to “beg” people to purchase products or services. Far from that, prospecting is a fundamental way of driving sales for your business and you should look at it as a pipeline for growing your client base.

How prospecting can influence your sales performance:

  1. Reduce CAC (customer acquisition cost):

Because of the low cost involved in prospecting as compared to full-scale marketing, acquiring a new client with prospecting could significantly be more cost-effective than marketing. With the right tools, the cost of sending out ten thousand emails is the same as the cost of sending out one. This helps increase your ROI significantly.

  1. Build Interest:

Prospecting can be used to educate your potential clients and build an interest in them over time for your product or service. This way, your sales team only speaks to prospects that understand the benefits of your services and are willing to give it a try. Educating your target audience without a list using marketing could be more expensive.

  1. Pre-qualify clients:

With prospecting done well, you can pre-qualify your prospects and decide what kind of clients you want for your business. A prospect may want your services but if he/she doesn’t match your ideal client personality, you can avoid onboarding them in the first place.

Benefits Of Prospecting

Now that we have an idea about what prospecting is and how it works, let’s discuss the benefits of prospecting for your business.

1. Cheap & Easy Setup: Reaching out to your potential clients (prospects) via email and phone is more cost-effective than spending thousands of dollars on an advertising budget. All you need to do is send out enough emails, cold calls, texts until you can qualify your prospects as leads and eventually paying clients.

2. You Are In Control: With prospecting, you get to decide how many prospects you reach out to, how many emails you send out and how many cold calls you make. It is all about your conversion rate and you can control that. If you acquire one client after sending out a thousand emails, then you know exactly how much you need to do in other to get 10 clients.

3. Increase Brand Awareness: Take emails for example, when you send out well-written emails with your business’s logo, you are building awareness for your brand. Your emails are opened by thousands of prospects, a percentage of whom will want to find out more about your business and probably Google your brand name to learn more. More eyeballs on your brand == More awareness which == More credibility == More business.

4. Drive Traffic: It is good practice to put out a link to your website in your outreach messages. This makes it easy for you to drive direct traffic to your website. At least 7% of your cold email outreach prospects will click on your link and visit your website thereby driving more traffic for your business. More traffic to website == More relevance from Google == Higher Google rankings.

5. Understand your clients: The most common answer you get when it comes to prospecting is “NO”. This answer is so powerful that it has literally shut down thousands of businesses over the decades for good. But is “NO” really that bad of an answer? The answer is “NO”. When you receive a “NO” from a prospect, there is always a reason or multiple. In other to understand and win more clients for your business, you must master the “WHY” behind the “NO”. What makes your prospects say “NO”? Is it your messaging? Do they not trust you for some reason? Or does their “NO” mean “NOT NOW”? See, people can easily say “NO” to get you to stop asking but you have to find out why they said “NO”. Prospecting exposes you to a ton of objections from potential clients and you can use it to your advantage. When you can learn to understand the objections from your prospects, you will win more clients and know exactly how to qualify which client is right for you or not.

Is prospecting the right choice for your business?

In other to answer this question, you must first consider what kind of business you run. Prospecting goes easily with b2b companies as it makes more sense for one business to contact another to find out if there is a match. For b2c companies, a lot of people argue that it makes no sense for a restaurant to email or cold call people in the area asking them to come and eat at their restaurant (but does it really make no sense?). Despite the arguments, I believe prospecting is about reaching out to people to find a match, whether it be b2b or b2c it doesn’t matter much. An Ecommerce brand can make cold calls, send direct messages, or even send out cold emails to find new clients and it’s ok to do just that.

No matter the kind of business you run, it all comes down to personal choice. If you want to position yourself in such a way that your potential clients reach out to you to help them, then you should consider choosing marketing as your way of generating leads, gaining clientele and growing your business.

Yes, you can combine both prospecting and marketing to get really good results for your business. If you need help making your decision or getting started, jump on a quick call with me here and my team and I will be happy to help you.      

Let’s talk Marketing:

Yes, Marketing at last! but not least.

What is marketing? and why is it so important in business? According to Investopedia, marketing is defined as a series of activities performed by a business to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing involves educating, advertising, selling, and delivering products or services to consumers. From the definition, we understand that marketing is an integral part of every business.

There are two kinds of marketing;

Traditional marketing: This is any form of marketing that is offline (not on the internet). Traditional marketing has thrived for decades now and is still around. Some examples of traditional marketing methods are; Newspapers, Radio channels, billboards, direct mails, and word of mouth. Traditional marketing was unbeatable pre-internet age but after the “.com boom” everything gradually shifted toward the internet and Digital Marketing was born.

Digital marketing: This is also referred to as “Online Marketing”. Post-internet, people got a lot closer to their smartphones, experts say that some people have actual relationships with their smart devices without even realizing it. Any series of activities performed online by a business to promote the buying or selling of a product or service is referred to as Digital Marketing. Some examples of digital marketing activities are: Launching a website, engaging with followers on social media channels, creating videos for your business, writing blogs, tutorials, online courses, hosting a podcast, building a CRM for client management and many more. Earth’s population is projected to reach 8 billion by the year 2023, and there are roughly 4.5 billion internet users with a penetration rate of 58.8% and a growth of 1,157% between 2000 – 2019. (source: https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm ).

Digital marketing has revolutionized the way we do business today. The amount of people you can reach with traditional marketing is limited to a specific geographic location, but with digital marketing, you can reach over 4.5 billion internet users around the world. How’s that for a revolution?

Marketing is about long-term results. Unlike prospecting where you are in control, with marketing you must commit to doing it long enough to see results.

How to carry out marketing for your business:

Now that we have proven that every business needs marketing, how exactly can you use marketing to grow your business? Below are a few ways you can use marketing to grow your client base:

  1. Build a website:

I guess this should not come as a surprise. If you want to grow your business and acquire more clients online, you must build a website and establish an online presence. But why is it so important to have a website? Think of your website as your office on the internet. People use their phones to browse online a lot when trying to make buying decisions, if they can’t find your business online, they will probably find your competitor’s.  If you want to start acquiring clients from the internet, your first step should be to build a website that “represents your brand”. If you need help setting up a website that represents your brand, you can reach out to my team here and we will be happy to help. You may want to look at our article “Simplistic website design ideas to transform your online presence”. This should give you some ideas on how to go about designing a website for your business.

  1. Optimize your website for search engines (SEO):

Most business owners have this belief that once they are done building a website for their business, they start to rank on Google, clients start coming in, and their business starts to grow. The thing is, building a website is just step 1 and there are several other steps involved which I am going to discuss briefly in the next paragraphs. After building a website, step 2 is getting your website to rank on the first page of Google for several key phrases related to your business. Key phrases are search queries that Google (or other search engine) users browse for on the internet. For example; if you own a real estate brokerage, the key phrases your potential clients may be searching for are:

  • Best broker in XXXX(location)
  • Buy a house near me
  • Real estate agent in XXXX(location)
  • Rent an office space
  • Best real estate agency in XXXX(location)

The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to get your website to start appearing on the first page of Google or any search engine when key phrases relating to your business are searched for by a potential client.

Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

If you need help setting up an SEO campaign for your business, reach out to my team here and we will be happy to help. You can also check out this blog on How to increase your new website’s traffic and google rank for free.

  1. Set up social media channels for your business:

Social media has become a large part of our digital lives, with more than 2.4 billion active monthly users. If your business is not on any social media network, you are missing out on a large source of leads. Over the years, more and more businesses have reached the conclusion that social media is of great importance to business growth, but even to date, most businesses have no idea of how to manage their social media channels effectively. Some of the importance of social media for your business includes:

-Increased awareness

-Improved brand-client relationship

-Rapid increase in sales

Read more about our social media management services here.

  1. Invest in content marketing:

This is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content online with the goal of educating an audience and creating interest in a product or service. The entire internet is built on content and without content, there is no internet. The statement “content is king” made by Bill Gates a decade ago still holds true today, but you won’t be able to see as much result as in the past by just creating and posting content. In 2020, creating content and educating your target audience is just a piece of the puzzle, you must also spend a lot of time promoting your content in order to see any positive results. There is so much content out there now that you need to leverage more quality and promotion than more quantity and no promotion. If you haven’t already started creating content for your business, you should start now! A lot of people underestimate the power of content creation, but the world keeps moving digital every day. If you do not want to be left behind, you should invest in content marketing for your business because chances are that your competitors are already investing anyways. If your content can rank well on search engines, you will get more clients over time. Read this blog about How Copywriting Will Change In The Next 10 Years and How Copywriters will become the superheroes of Online marketing.

  1. Run social media adverts:

Creating content and keeping up with online appearance is not going to cut it any longer. Every business needs to invest in all-round marketing to ensure they see positive results long term and short term. You could have the best product/service but if people cannot find your business, they won’t be doing any business with you. SEO, Social media management and Google PPC are all low-cost ways of driving traffic and increasing brand awareness over time but how will people know your business is around right now? Consider investing in social media adverts, not the kind that sells (make people purchase now) but the kind that drives awareness and puts you in the position of an expert in your field. Running social media adverts for awareness is easy and anyone can do it but if you need help growing your business online in Q1 of 2020, reach out to my team here and we will be happy to help.

  1. Launch a Google Pay Per Click campaign:

A Google pay-per-click campaign is like the paid version of Search engine optimization. In pay per click, you are telling Google to rank a specific page on your website in the number 1 slot on the first page of Google whenever someone searches for a certain group of keywords. Google only bills you after a user clicks on your page link and visits your page. This will help drive more traffic to your website and if users like what they see, you could generate a lot of leads and try to convert them into paying clients. If you need help setting up a Google pay-per-click campaign, reach out to my team and we will be happy to help.

How marketing can influence your sales performance:

So, how can marketing influence your sales performance?

  1. Let’s talk numbers:

 a. Building a website:

Building a website gives you access to over 4.5 billion internet users who may one day become your clients, refusing to acknowledge the fact that your ideal client is online will deny you the opportunity of ever converting them into clients. Building a business website is your first step to going global, you will no longer be restricted to your physical location and you can reach a larger market worldwide.

b. SEO:

Search engine optimization puts you in a position where your potential clients who are online, get to see your website first before your competitors. 70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. (MarTech, 2018) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics). 75% of internet users browse only the first page of search engine results pages, the goal of SEO is to get your business to rank on the first page of search engines such as Google.

 c. Social media:

With more than 2.3 billion active monthly users and average engagement time of 32 minutes per day, your business can generate a huge amount of leads from social media if done properly. Social media is for fun and engagement, so, is your content entertaining or just selling? Read our post on 13 Instagram Account Management Strategies -and why you need an Instagram management agency.

d. Content marketing:

81% of B2B companies use Blogs as a content marketing tactic.

(Source: www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics).

The right content marketing strategy can increase your website’s traffic by at least 40,000 users per month, this increase in traffic will directly influence your conversion rate and bring in more leads for your business.

 e. Google PPC:

-Internet traffic funneled through pay-per-click advertisements bring approximately 50% more lead conversions than organic web traffic.

-The top 3 paid advertising spots get 46% of the clicks on the page

-40% of brands and agencies say that their PPC budget is lower than where they actually want to be. (source: https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/ppc/ppc-statistics/).

An average key phrase in any industry receives about 45 searches per month and Google PPC campaigns are usually optimized for at least 100 key phrases.

 f. Social media adverts:

Social media advert spend is well on track to surpass Print for the first time with ads spend estimated to Surpass $100 billion globally. Small businesses spend an average of $3000 to $5000 on social media ads campaign every month and 72% of businesses who spend on adverts make more in revenue than businesses who have no ad budget.

  1. Awareness:

With the help of marketing, your brand name can be in front of a million-plus unique people in a matter of hours. This is astonishing because television and newspaper ads could not reach such a large audience in such a short time.

  1. Influence (become an expert):

A couple of decades back, it took years of hard work and achievements to have an article written about you or your business as an expert in a field. Today, with the help of digital marketing you can show people your brand’s identity (unique way of doing business) and proof to people that you are an expert in your field of business, all within a short period. This gives startup businesses an opportunity to show their worth and grow.

  1. Quality leads:

Marketing will help you generate more quality leads than prospecting ever could. With the help of marketing, you can drive more traffic to your website, grow awareness, increase brand loyalty and then convert website users into clients. “Digital marketing is not an art of selling a product. It is an art of making people buy the product that you sell.”
— Hecate Strategy

  1. Compete with bigger brands:

With the help of digital marketing, small businesses and startups can now compete for clients with larger corporations. Your potential clients get to choose between you and your competitors, all you need to do is show them why it is beneficial for them to choose you. Yes, large corporations may have deep pockets for large advert budgets but they are still competing with you based on the target audience and when it comes down to it, your ideal clients will choose based on what you have to offer and not how much you spend.

Benefits of Digital Marketing:

  1. Build digital assets:

If you want to actively participate in digital marketing, you have to create a lot of content assets such as; articles, videos, pictures, audios, infographics, pdfs and more. These content assets will always be online, driving traffic to your website and building relevance for your business or brand.

  1. Personalization:

The one thing traditional marketing could not succeed at doing was personalizing advertisements, as all adverts were directed to anonymous audiences. With data provided by the internet and a little bit of code, you can customize advert experience for individual users. When a business includes personalization in adverts, conversion rates climb because users appreciate personalization.

  1. Ability to track and measure results:

With the help of several analytics tools out there today, you can keep track of exactly where you get the most traffic, which content assets are performing the best and what keeps users coming back to your brand. Having the ability to track and measure your marketing performance helps you understand what works and what doesn’t.

  1. Insane growth:

We have already established the fact that marketing has a wider reach than prospecting. Businesses who invest in digital marketing experience exponential growth in sales and awareness within the first 3 months.

Is marketing the right choice for your business?

Prospecting can help you close more deals and acquire a good number of clients within a short period of time, but it doesn’t build your brand in a way that marketing does. With marketing, you can reveal your business’s identity to the world and build a lot of content assets online that could significantly grow in value over time. Your blogs, videos, and other forms of content are all digital assets that outlive any prospecting campaign.

Regardless of industry, digital marketing can only have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line. It makes sense to invest in both prospecting and digital marketing with more focus on digital marketing as it builds your brand in the long run.

Similarities between Prospecting & Marketing

  1. Both have a positive impact on sales.
  2. Both contribute to increasing business awareness.
  3. Both help you compete with bigger brands.
  4. Both drives traffic to your website.
  5. Both help you understand your clients.

Differences between Prospecting & Marketing

  1. Marketing builds brand reputation; Prospecting does not.
  2. Prospecting has limited reach; Marketing has a wider reach.
  3. Prospecting can be done for free; Marketing requires a budget.
  4. Marketing positions you as an expert; Prospecting positions you as a salesperson.

Key Takeaways

  1. look at prospecting as a pipeline for growing your client base.
  2. Marketing positions you as an expert.
  3. It makes sense to combine prospecting and marketing for powerful results.

Conclusion

Every business requires some form of prospecting or marketing to gain clients, sell products or services and grow. As business owners, we are responsible for making the right decisions that fit our business model and helps us grow. If your business is not actively participating in either prospecting or marketing, you should consider starting today! I hope you enjoyed the article and you learned something new but most importantly, I hope you take action in growing your business.

If this article taught you something, kindly share and get more eyes on here. Enjoy!

About The Author

Prospecting Vs Marketing which is the best choice for your business?

Simeon Igbabul

He is the co-founder, lead business growth strategist, and CEO of MELBUL. Most people know him for his passion to solve problems. An Entrepreneur who believes there is a level (an equal) playground for every business to be successful.

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