Four Most Important People In Sales

Selling requires great communication. You listen to people in your target audience and you come up with solutions to their problems.

In order to motivate them to take action, the your marketing message must be relevant and it must be delivered in a way that will resonate with the target audience.

There are four primary audience groups you must engage regularly with your communications efforts.

These people are responsible for bringing you 99% of your business.  These groups are:

  1. Suspects
  2. Prospects
  3. Clients
  4. Evangelists

Here are some details about each group to help you determine how to engage them.

Suspects are people who you think have a need for your service.

Suspects don’t know who you are or what you do. They fall into this grouping because they MAY have a need for your services.

For example:

If you sell tires, anyone who owns a car is a suspect for you.

If you are an immigration attorney, the human resources director in the research department of a pharmaceutical company is a suspect for you because she brings in scientists from other countries.

If you are a CPA people who belong to Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) are suspects for you because they all own businesses in your area.

Prospects are people who have expressed a need for the services you offer. They have called you or requested information from you.

Prospects may or may not have a sense of urgency about resolving their issue. The key is they have identified themselves as people who are interested in your services.

For example:

As a tire salesperson you have written a white paper titled: “Five Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Tires For Your Truck Fleet.” You offer this paper to people via a direct response postcard sent to them in the mail. Anyone who fills out the card and sends it back to you is immediately considered a prospect.

The immigration attorney takes a booth at a convention for pharmaceutical human resource executives. In the booth she offers copies of a booklet she has written titled: “The Step-By-Step Guide to Extraordinary Ability Visas for Biomedical Scientists.” She gives the booklet to HR executives in exchange for their business card. Anyone who takes a booklet is a prospect.

The CPA writes an article in the monthly EO newsletter. In his bio box (the box in the article that contains his name and title) he offers a free assessment of any EO member’s business tax structure. Anyone who calls to accept this offer is a prospect.

Clients are people who have paid for your services.

I realize there are pro-bono clients and different industries have different definitions for this relationship. As a business strategist, I’m using the business definition of a client.

A client is someone who has exchanged money for the value you provide.

I also subscribe to the notion – once a client, always a client. This means even if someone did business with you five years ago, and has not purchased anything since; they are still called a client.

Evangelists are people who refer business to you even though they have never done business with you.

For example:

I refer business to my friend Brian, who is a criminal defense attorney. I have never (fortunately) had a need for his services. I refer him because I know him, like him, and I trust him.

I am an evangelist for Brian.

Marketing and sales communication begins with understanding the people who are in each category.  Each of these groups is at a different point in their relationship with you.

Your communication should be designed to engage each group and get them to take action.

You want suspects to become prospects.

You want prospects to become clients.

You want clients to spend more money with you.

And you want evangelists to keep referring business to you.

This happens almost exclusively through communication and relationship development.

Suspects become prospects when you educate them on the need for your services.

Prospects become clients when you educate them on the urgency in taking action on their situation.

Clients invest more with you when you offer them even greater value.

Evangelists refer additional people to you when they see a problem you can solve for someone they know.

Here is an example:

Jack Long is a trust and estate attorney in Dallas, TX.  Every month he does a no-cost seminar for the clients of a local insurance agency.  About 25 people hear him speak on the importance of having a will and the value in hiring an attorney to help prepare one. At the start of his presentation the folks in that room are people Jack suspects may need his services.

After each presentation, about 3 or 4 people come up to Jack and ask him questions.  He stays until the last question is answered and he immediately follows up with the people who sought him out.  These folks are prospects.

Of the 4 people who contacted Jack after the presentation, one or two usually hire him to draw up his will. He becomes a client. When Jack brings him on board he lets the new client know he also provides other services such as a living will and a durable power of attorney.

If his new clients don’t have Jack provide those services, he will continue to educate him (through newsletters, events and other forms of media) on the importance of those instruments.

Jack also hosts quarterly events for people who refer him business. (Jack encourages his referral sources to bring their friends to his appreciation events). He also sends out a monthly printed newsletter and a weekly email newsletter. These communications tools are often passed on to other people by evangelists.

Great communication is one of the keys to success in any business. Effective marketing starts with matching the right message to the right people. Suspects need a different message than prospects. Prospects need a message that is different than the message you deliver to your clients.

Get the message right and deliver it to the right target audience and your revenue with grow exponentially.

Here are some additional resources you can use right now:

Build Relationships Fast: Make An Emotional Connection

Your story is important because it helps you make an emotional connection with the person sitting across from you. How do you come across in a meeting?

How to Respond to a Request for Proposal

Everyone hates the RFP process. In some sales organizations and in some industries, it is unavoidable. In this Facebook Live video we discuss how you can respond to an RFP without becoming a commodity.

Be Positive and You Will Sell More

It is easy to be negative. In this business – sales – you get lots of rejection. That will break the average person. You cannot be the average person. You cannot ever be broken.