The Importance of Prospect Profiling in Sales Management
Prospecting is the first stage in the personal selling process and is defined as the sellers search for and identification of qualified buyers. Potential prospects come from a variety of sources, including existing customers, personal contacts, directories, computerized databases, trade publications, and trade shows. Prospects may respond to advertising by placing a telephone call or writing for more information. Such responses, called inquires, are often assigned to salespeople for follow-up. A qualified buyer must be reasonably accessible to the seller, able to afford the purchase, and at least willing to consider making it. To define qualified prospects, salespeople or companies may establish additional criteria involving elements such as geographical proximity, marketplace function (sales only on wholesales, for example), or minimize sales volumes levels. Customer profiling is narrowing the personal selling effort down to the right target but requires constant detailed analysis of the markets and much prospecting. Basically, prospecting involves following all the leads in the target market to identify potential customers. Finding live prospects who will help make the buying decisions isn’t as easy as it sounds. In business markets, for example, the salesperson may need to do some hard detective work to find the real purchase decision makers. Some companies provide prospect lists to make this part of the selling job easier. For example one insurance company checks the local newspaper for marriage announcement-then a sales person calls to see if the new couple is interested in finding out more about life insurance.
While prospecting focuses on identifying mew customers, established customers require attention too. It’s often time consuming and expensive to establish a relationship with a customer, so it makes since to keep established relationship healthy. That requires the representative to...
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