Your Ideal Prospect in Industrial Marketing

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Attracting quality prospects to your business will raise the quality of your accounts and allow you to do business on your terms.

I recently had a long-time client that I was working with, developing an industrial marketing plan. We had spent weeks developing their ideal prospect and then compared the qualities of the ideal prospect with the qualities of their current clients. Imagine my surprise when not a single client on the list resembled the profile of their  “ideal prospect.”

This highlights the fact that many industrial companies often take less-than-ideal clients – a practice that doesn’t need to be perpetuated. Answer the four questions below to attract ideal prospects and raise the quality of your accounts.

What do you want to catch?

Just like I do with my clients, you need to sit down and take a look at the attributes you look for in prospects. It may seem obvious, but creating a list of desirable attributes will help formalize a list that you can use to define your target. Remember to be realistic and somewhat flexible – ultimately, nothing should be written in stone.

What bait are you going to use?

Now that you have your target, how do plan to appeal to them? Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and think hard about what resonates with them. Just like not all fish are attracted to the same lure, your prospects aren’t going to want to hear the same canned message. Obviously, the bait you use will depend on your prospects’ industry dynamics.

Are you in the right pond?

Are you a member of any trade organizations to help you network? If not, you should be. In addition, follow trade organizations on Twitter to find lists of members’ profiles and network online. LinkedIn groups are also another way to find a target audience that might be receptive to your message. Get to know where your ideal prospects like to swim and become familiar with best practices to go fishing there.

Is this prospect a good fit?

As we all know, when a project starts out poorly, it rarely gets better. So don’t let it get to that point. Unfortunately, many sales are made without answering this critical question.

You don’t have to settle for less-than-ideal prospects and clients. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have all of your clients possess the attributes you desire?Take some time to incorporate the answers to the above questions into your marketing plan, and you’ve already taken a giant step toward making that scenario a reality.

Photo credit: Graylight via photopin cc

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