7 Tips for Getting Known in Your Target Market

When planning a sales campaign, once you have a list of target opportunities, what should you do next?

When I’m working with clients, coaching them on their selling process, it takes a good degree of clarity and focus to develop a realistic list of prospects. This is no small task. It involves some serious thinking, researching and choosing.

The next step is to make them aware of you. Many busy people won’t call back someone they don’t know or never heard of, especially if it smells like a sales call.

There are a lot of ways to build up name recognition. Here are a few of my suggested favorites:

1. Be visible:  It’s one thing to join organizations and to attend meetings. You can waste a lot of time going to meetings and talking to one or two people at a time. You need to get active in ways that are visible. Become a greeter. Join the board. Volunteer to help in ways you are good at.

Join in, not at the periphery, but right in the spotlight. Here’s a little known fact that has to do with trade organizations and their newsletters. Most are starving for content. Have lunch with a key person in the group, and find out how to contribute an article, or better yet, a regular column.

When I first tried this, I was encouraged but I could see the association executive was hesitant. Nevertheless, I sent in an article. I couldn’t understand why he had initially been reluctant when I suggested I’d write for their publication.

He called me and made it clear why. He told me several people had offered to write content for him, but no one had ever actually done it! This became an effective way to get my name out in front of others in the group, and I positioned myself as an expert with solutions.

Without building up name recognition and a reputation as an expert, you make the sales process longer and harder.

2. Ask your target market: If you want to be well known as an expert, ask questions. Ask good questions. Make a list of four or five questions of interest to the members of your targeted market. Call ten or more of the people you want to get to know.

Tell them you’re doing a survey and would like their input, and that you’ll send them the resulting information.

Interview them on industry trends, business conditions, things that you would like to know. Ask them about the challenges they are facing, and what they are doing about those challenges. But caution. Do not engage them in a sales conversation at this point.

Once you’ve done the research, you can put together a brief report or white paper and offer to share it with the trade association publication.

You can also offer to give a speech, a teleconference, or any other kind of workshop or gathering to discuss the findings.

For the key people you interviewed when designing the survey, put together a professional looking report and ask them for a moment of their time to discuss the results.

I’ve got an appointment right now for a similar survey I did recently, so I’ll have to continue this post next time. Sign up to get email updates to the blog so you don’t miss it! Get this tip and many others like it in our book Masterminds Unleashed: Selling for Geniuses.

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