Prospecting 101

Published in Orthotics & Prosthetics on November 30, 2021

Rhonda McCumberBy Rhonda McCumber, Senior Membership Account Manager, VGM & Associates

After many years in the sales and marketing arena, I have found that it’s extremely important to know and understand both the industry and the audience you wish to connect with. The first step in doing this is to learn how to prospect successfully.

I’ve participated in a number of programs that offer strategic prospecting steps, tips, and tools to help initiate and develop new business opportunities by searching for new customers, or in my case, potential new VGM members. Currently, I’m participating in Ty Bello’s Dynamic Conversations and Spin Selling Course. There are so many ways people prospect, market, and sell that you must find a way that best fits you and your comfort level.

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Getting in Touch

Cold calling, email, and SMS messages are a few examples of sales prospecting to reach potential customers. Sales prospecting is an essential part of any sales strategy. At VGM, we have found that sales prospecting provides our account managers—and all other sales teams throughout VGM—those qualified new leads to sell to.

One of the key aspects of outbound prospecting at VGM is that we choose who we reach out to, meaning we can specifically target potential members that our company has deemed to be “pre-qualified.” This ensures our sales pipeline is full of qualified leads we know are a good fit.

As a DME/HME company, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:

Questions to Help Begin Your Prospecting:

  • How are we targeting potential customers?

  • What criteria are we establishing to make sure they are “pre-qualified” customers?

  • Are we doing any research on your prospective customers before we begin the outbound prospecting?

These questions can help streamline your prospecting efforts.

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Understanding Their Pain Points

To maintain sales prospecting effectiveness, prospecting strategies must change along with changes in the DME/HME industry. VGM is always looking to understand our members’ and prospects’ pain points and challenges within the industry so we can provide them with solutions and tactics to overcome those challenges.

To effectively prospect, your company must know what changes and pain points your potential leads are facing and what solutions your business can offer to resolve those challenges. VGM learns about these by prospecting to owners, general managers, or members of the business suite, and then determining which VGM division will fit their business model and how those divisions can assist in the growth of their business.

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As a DME and HME company, you can prospect to caregivers, patients, case managers, and hospitals, among others. Let them share what they do, what they offer, and what their pain points are. This gives you the opportunity to listen, acknowledge, and inform your potential member of ways your business can help. If you can help eliminate a specific challenge for your customers, your business will be seen as trustworthy and valuable.

Tracking Your Progress

All of these points combined will increase productivity, but you also want to make sure that you are keeping track of these efforts in some version of a customer relationship management (CRM) software. At VGM, our CRM tracks the sales teams’ efforts and can help identify strengths and weaknesses throughout the prospecting process. This allows us to find inefficiencies and optimize efforts as we all move forward throughout the process.

I have always been a believer in blocking out sales prospecting time each day—in order to document and enter prospect information, along with noting the person I’ve contacted. This gives me the chance to focus my attention on prospecting without other daily distractions. 

Bringing It Together

I know that everyone uses different techniques when it comes to prospecting, selling, and marketing, but the following are general prospecting guidelines that we should all follow throughout our industry and beyond:

General Prospecting Guidelines:

  1. Listen to the prospect’s needs.
  2. Don’t be pushy.
  3. Provide them with relevant information.
  4. Care about them and the success of their business or well-being.
  5. Share details on aspects of your business that will meet their needs.

If we are all doing these five things while prospecting, we can build lasting relationships by showing our potential customers that we are trustworthy and deserving of their business.

Cheers to successful prospecting!

Playbook: Optimizing Sales and Marketing in the DMEPOS SpaceThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Optimizing Sales and Marketing in the DMEPOS Space. To read more articles like this, download your copy of the playbook today!


TAGS

  1. business development
  2. sales

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