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Ditch the Pitch

September 25, 2008  

According to Justin Hitt, B2B sales teams routinely get it wrong when seeking new customers. "The problem is, not every sales person knows who makes a good client," he explains. Among the common errors he sees:

Chasing too many prospects. "Successful sales people focus on highly qualified prospects most likely to close," Hitt says.

Not chasing enough prospects. The reverse is true as well, he says. Prospecting should be a daily activity.

Not testing enough. If you aren't continuously testing, "you'll likely stop pursuing great customers out of indifference," he predicts.

To avoid falling into these traps, Hitt urges B2B marketers to follow a basic prospecting formula: identify, challenge and qualify to close.

  • Identify your ideal customers using specific criteria that are important to you. Then "pre-qualify every lead with a well-designed marketing campaign," he advises.
  • Challenge your assumptions by really understanding your customers. Carry on an ongoing dialogue with them, showing real interest in what matters to them.
  • Qualify a good prospect as the ideal user of your solution, until it's obvious that their only choice is to buy. This beats the hard sell every time.

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