Prospecting and Getting your Foot in the Door

by M.Velez
(Rocklin, CA, United States)

How to find new prospects that are in need of your service and more importantly, how to get an opportunity to speak with them. How do I get past their gatekeeper and what do I say when I get them on the phone. Do I try to sell and close, set an appointment to sell, etc.How do I get to a prospect if I have hardly any information about them?


OK, I need to state right up front that I am far from the expert in this area.

In my B2B slaes career I was able to dig up a lot of prospects. One of the ways I did this was by understanding the products I sold and talking to a lot of knowledgeable people in the industry. (First I had to establish a relationship with them). These people may have been technical consultants held in high regard or people who had been in the industry a long time and owned a business and were not afraid to talk. WE used to call them industry gurus. I'd organise to meet them over lunch etc and start discussing the properties and benefits of the product I wanted to sell. They would often say to me, "you need to talk to Company X ask for Mr Y" and off I went.

The problem I always had was getting appointments. I would often get into a conversation on the phone about the product and end up taking a trial order rather than organising a meeting with the prospect. My sales manager didn't like that. But I guess it's hard to argue with orders.

In terms of getting past the gatekeeper I never tried.

I treated everyone on the phone as a prospect and spoke to them accordingly.

I would say things like "I was talking to Mr Expert the other day and he said your company would be ideal clients for this product". He said I should talk to your boss. If they asked for more details I'd start describing the product and how it could help in their production and usually the "gatekeeper " (I hate that term actually) would say "that's too technical for me I'll put you through" or " look he's in a meeting right now can he call you back at 2pm ?"

Hope that gives you some ideas.


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