"Prospecting For Gold"

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Prospecting For Gold
by Joe Bonura, CSP


Who Do You Call?

My mantra for sales is to make calls, make more calls, make many more calls. However, you cannot make the calls unless you have prospects to call. The first step in any sales process should be to prospect for business.

Where to Begin?

So, where do you begin? When I state make calls, make more calls, make many more calls, I don't purport to randomly pick up the phone and begin dialing. The late great Fred Herman told a friend that he would give him fifty cents for every lead that he gave him. The next day, the friend dropped the phone book on Fred's desk and replied, "Give me $50,000 dollars."

Ready, Aim

In order to be productive and profitable when selecting the best prospects, you must initially define your target market. How do you do that? What I suggest is to make a column down the left hand side of a sheet of paper, listing as many of your present clients that come to mind.

Start Calling

In the middle of the page, start another column and list the industries of each of those clients. On a separate page, make a list of companies in each of the industries in column two. Find out the contact information for those businesses and begin calling.

They Take Your Money

Speak with your suppliers, those with whom you do business, and ask them for leads, people who would be interested in your product or service. Since you are investing money with them, they will be willing to give you some good targeted leads.

On Stage

Present a seminar to showcase your product or service. Invite prospects to your free seminar, and entice them with an incentive to attend. If you are in the financial planning business, ask them if they are tired of losing money in the stock market. If you are in the health insurance business, ask them if they are tired of trying to understand the new heath care laws. Create a concept line that best describes the benefits of using your product or service and make that the reason they should go to your presentation.


Speak at association meetings where they are always looking for someone to present new and interesting ideas to their members. You can be the person to introduce information that they will find useful. Look for associations for the companies in which you are now doing business.

Always Be Looking

Always be looking. When I do ride-alongs with sales people, I always point out the sales opportunities along the way as we drive between appointments. It boggles the mind to see the many opportunities we pass every day without stopping. Recently, I worked with an insurance representative who inquired how to make cold calls. I immediately pulled into the parking lot of a hardware store; our cold call resulted in a successful sale to that store and two other locations.

Finders Keepers

Pay a finders fee for every legitimate lead that someone gives you. When you make the call on the lead, say the following, "I promised Mike Smith I would give you a call." It transforms a cold call into a warm call, making your sales call considerably easier.

What Is a Prospect Worth?

A businessman related that he was having a problem getting people to attend meetings for his network marketing presentations. Many of his prospects said that they were going to attend, but then they would renege. I asked him, based on past performance, how much was an attendee worth. He responded that if they signed up, it could mean at least $1,000 per year.

Tear It Up

I took a $20 bill out of my pocket, tore it in half, kept one half and handed the other half to him. I told him to return his half of the bill to the meeting, and I would give him my half when he got there. He continues to use this technique and is experiencing impressive results.

Idea Starters

Here are some other quick and simple ideas for finding good prospects:

  • Advertise in local media
  • Use the internet and research your industry for breaking news
  • Read trade journals and business publications in your industry
  • Attend your industry trade shows
  • Attend chamber of commerce meetings to network and get new prospects

The Real Key

The real key is to always be filling your list with new prospects. Shoot for a "Target 100" list of prospects and work the list until you get a client off the list or run into a dead end. As soon as you lose one, add one so that you will always be working a target list of 100 prospects.

Now Is the Time

Start now! Stop in and see someone on your way to work.

© 2014 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:



Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com

About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.




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