Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Reading Tea Leaves"

The term "fish where the fish are" & "reading the tea leaves" -- are expressions I love to hear.

But, in creating a message, and selling a product or service it is IMPERATIVE, to understand precisely, WHO your prospects are.

I had a job, that was in the "service" business. They were a brand new company in NYC. New York City was a new market for them. They were not a brand name. They had ZERO recognition.

One of the best exercises that the opening of this company/presence in NYC, was how efficiently they went after their prospects, and defined them.

They did it with precision, focus, and tweaking the message enough, in the first 90 days -- that they let the market dictate, and drive direction.


Creating a need, is one thing. Consistently coming up with new ideas and FORCING them on the market is another.

The business plan that was so effective that I wrote about addressed this carefully, and with precision. It detailed the market, as well as defined quotes about the potential of this business concept, from their biggest prospects.


Before sales, the process really is DEFINING YOUR MARKET.

And, it sounds simple -- but this is NOT about the territory.

It's about the prospects in a territory that HELP define the message, and assist the company developing and "optimizing" it's message....

Sales is the last step in a long process. The process that is often overlooked, and undervalued is PROSPECTING, and defining WHO THE COMPANY SHOULD GO AFTER to provide maximum FEEDBACK on it's message, along with the highest rate of "closing new business."

Companies often overlook this, and throw a new salesperson into the FIRE, by not only asking him/her to close new business, but define their market.. this doubles the job of a salesperson. This is OK to do, it just needs to be understood, and communicated --- early on in the interview/hiring process.

As we move along in this blog, prospecting and sales - are completely independent and different function inside of the term SALES. All too often, I have found that companies will HEAVY up and focus on sales -- without a true understanding on the prospecting side of the equation.

"Read the Tea Leaves" - is about envisioning your prospects, and moving forward....

Some of the BEST salespeople, are the WORST prospectors - and some of the best prospectors are the WORST salespeople.

It's figuring this out early, and executing, that is key to the success of a sales group.


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