Whatever industry you’re selling in, chances are you’ll spending a fair amount of your working time contacting “cold” prospects to hopefully interest them in whatever product or service you’re offering. This can clearly prove fruitful but can be extremely time consuming. Regardless of how good a salesperson you are, unless there’s a huge demand for your product/service the likelihood is that you’ll speaking to countless prospects who either have no need for what you’re offering, aren’t in the market for what you’re offering at the moment or, the dreaded phrase of salespeople across the land are “happy with our current supplier” (we all know that means that they’re probably not all that happy but can’t be bothered to put time into researching potential improvements – I’ll cover that in a separate blog).
So, how do find companies that have a need for your offering and just happen to call them at exactly the right time? Ladies and gentlemen I present the marvellous FREE tool that is Google Alerts
For those not in the know, Google alerts is a (did I mention FREE) tool that Google offers whereby you can set up alerts to receive either emails or notifications into your RSS feed to inform you of any new mentions of that term across the internet.
The key is ensuring you use relevant search terms – and this, unfortunately is where you’re going to have to use your brain a little bit (exhausting I know). Grab a piece of paper and a pen and run through as many relevant search terms as you can related to whatever product or service you’re selling. The list can be as long or as short as you like and you can always whittle it down later should you find that the alert is not providing you with relevant results. Main thing at this stage is to think of as many different angles as possible.
To give you some examples – we’re currently working for a company that supplies and installs security systems. Putting some thought behind why a company may look at investing in a new security system:
- Because they’re moving into new premises
- Because they’re closing an old premises
- Because they’ve recently had a break in
- Because they’re developing their existing premises
- Because the former security manager has left
- Because they’ve changed their line of business and might be stocking higher value items
Are a few examples – this is by no means an exhaustive list but should hopefully get your grey matter fizzing and give you some starting points.
You may wish to try various different terms, possibly even break it down into regions – ie “new premises midlands”/”new premises bristol” – this will further expand the likelihood of google generating relevant results for you.
Once you’ve got your list, go onto google alerts (you’ll have to set up a google account to be able to save the terms) and begin the process of setting up an alert for that term. Rather than give you a detailed explanation of how to use google alerts, there’s a great guide here – only a small change to note that they’ve changed the result type from “everything” to “automatic” – that will ensure that the alerts cover the whole web rather than, for example news or blogs alone.
Now, as I mentioned you can set it up to email you the results – this is fine but for me I prefer to use the RSS feed – there’s numerous RSS readers out there which I suggest researching, personally I have a chrome plugin called feeder which you can get here but that’s just a personal preference.
As we work on behalf of various different clients I’ve set up folders within feeder so I can separate the various alerts to suit each client – if you’re only selling on behalf of one business that may not be necessary for you but just a thought which you might want to consider to enable you to work more effectively.
So, rather than adopting a scattergun approach, use google alerts to help you identify needs and to call those prospects at exactly the right time! Bit stalky and a bit ambulance chasey I know but, we’re in the business of creating business, why not use this free, highly effective tool to help you get there!
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
T:01384 566 078