Why do good sales people continuously look for new leads?
Over the last 20+ years, I have spent a lot of time searching for leads. At the beginning of my sales career, I tried everything, including dumpster diving, following my competitors’ shuttles resulting in 20 trips to the airport, and let’s not forget scouring the dreaded phone book (if you are under 30, you have never seen one of these).
Good sales people continuously look for new leads because it drastically reduces, or even eliminates, the downtime between sales. Long periods of dead time between the last deal and the next one will kill a business. Continuously filling your sales pipeline will keep your hotel, or business, flourishing.
Based on my experience, the 3 best places to find sales leads are:
1. Current Customers – Your current customers already know and trust you. Most people will want to help you if you have a strong relationship with them and consistently take care of them. Contact your current customers and ask them for more business. Also ask them for referrals, inside and outside their organization.
2. Competitors’ Customers – It is always a good idea to touch base with prospects that do business with your competitors. In the world of sales, timing is everything. Whether on the phone or in person, be prepared to articulate a strong value proposition, explaining why it makes good business sense for your prospect to switch to you, or at least give you a shot. If you do not reach out to them, someone else will.
3. Past Customers – Most people do not stop doing business with you because they had a bad experience. Most people stop doing business with you because they had a mediocre experience. Make your customers feel special or your competitors will. Contact your previous customers with a humble attitude and be ready to wow them if they are gracious enough to give you another shot.
There are as many places to find leads as there are people to find them. Regardless of where you go to look for leads, do not stop looking. If you do not keep your sales pipeline full, whatever deal you are working on will be your last.
Toni Jacaruso, CEO of Jacaruso Enterprises Inc.
April 12, 2021