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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member Boss_Numbat's Avatar
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    Question Prospecting?? Who does it? Do you target market? Or...

    I have noticed a number of posts and the ocassional reference to a good article or resource on the topic of prospecting.

    I know there are numerous methods and sources for prospecting, many have been mentioned in past posts such as 'cold calling', 'email', 'newsletters' and the like.

    All fantastic sources, if you know 'what you are doing', the steps to take and the words to say or include (format) while prospecting (looking for work).

    We all understand I beleive the 'need' to prospect, is as important as remembering to fill the scuba diving tank with air before embarking on dive...its all too late after the fact.

    I like to think about prospecting as 'finding' - finding work, finding the prospective client, finding the needs and requirements, finding that person that I can convert to work or stay in touch with until I convert to work - a contact. As Zig Ziglar says, 'Become a good finder instead of a fault finder.'

    So, I am curious as to how others find work. I use cold calling, but with a fairly standard twist, I combine my cold calls with resources from the print media (newspapers and the like). I target specific catergories within sections of the print media, like 'business services'.

    Generally, unless it is a given - I undertake research and analysis prior to attempting contact with my prospective cold call, things like: do they have a web site, how does it stack up, what services or products do they offer online and offline, what process do they have online and a few more

    Some of my target sources are these sections and classified areas of the print media:

    Channel Partners
    Business Services
    Trade Services
    Auto Services
    Real Estate Services
    Finacial Services
    Tenders & Quotes Services

    I also use Whitepages, Yellowpages and like, playing 'spot the business listing with no URL advertised'

    What do you do to find work?
    In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes

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  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    As much time as I've spent researching and thinking about offline marketing campaigns, I've never followed through with implementation. (The closest I've come is in *almost* finishing a printed case study! )

    All of my work has come from client referrals and meeting with people face to face (BNI has been a great networking resource).

    -Costas
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  3. #3
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    Hi,

    same here, all my work comes from client referals, BNI and my web design partner companies which act as resellers.

    HTH, Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Member Boss_Numbat's Avatar
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    Smile

    Referrals are a good source, I too use referrals from clients, but generally these clients are classed as 'contacts', established contacts at that becase we have done business at some point and referrals is a natural source from established contacts.

    Established contacts always refer work...its a given - so to speak

    BIN is a nice concept, and there are others that are similar for referral based work... but I am curious as to prospectig. Who is out there actively seeking work, doing the 'hard yards' in the coal face, rather than taking the option for 'wait and see' referrals (Do not get me wrong - referrals are a life blood, and important.)

    Referrals is only one source, and there are many others I presume, it is the 'others' that I am intersted in and thought I would share some of my sources.

    I do not rely solely on referrals, but rather still actively look for work from other sources available.

    Thanks for the comments on referrals - greatly appreaticated - it is a quality source of decent clients.
    Last edited by Boss_Numbat; Aug 10, 2006 at 14:54. Reason: spelling mistake - fixed error
    In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss_Numbat
    Referrals are a good source, I too use referrals from clients, but generally these clients are classed as 'contacts', established contacts at that becase we have done business at some point and referrals is a natural source from established contacts.

    Established contacts always refer work...its a given - so to speak

    BIN is a nice concept, and there are others that are similar for referral based work... but I am curious as to prospectig. Who is out there actively seeking work, doing the 'hard yards' in the coal face, rather than taking the option for 'wait and see' referrals (Do not get me wrong - referrals are a life blood, and important.)
    Well you are right its only one source, but I am at BNI asking for working, not merely waiting for it. That seems to work and seems to be the easiest way to get the work.

    Another way that I do consider is to run seminars. I will still advertise them with my referal network first and only after that go down to newspaper advertising.

    Jochen
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Member Boss_Numbat's Avatar
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    Cheers Jochen - nice info.

    I never though to run a seminar, to be honest - GOOD IDEA!!

    Is there a format that you follow; what topics or specific information do you try to relay to those attending; do you create specific 'seminar manuals' for those attending to take away; what other materials or individual speakers do you also have attend (related business specialists)...

    What size venue (room); is there an average that generally attend; is there an average duration time (half-day, sixty minutes or two hours).

    With the advertising of the 'seminar' details in local print media and other channels, what is the time frame - how many days prior to the event do you begin the marketing campagin?

    I like the idea, just wondering about the preparation steps..

    And thanks!!
    Last edited by Boss_Numbat; Aug 10, 2006 at 17:48. Reason: fixed error :)
    In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes

    W3C Sites - http://www.w3csites.com/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss_Numbat
    Cheers Jochen - nice info.

    I never though to run a seminar, to be honest - GOOD IDEA!!

    Is there a format that you follow; what topics or specific information do you try to relay to those attending; do you create specific 'seminar manuals' for those attending to take away; what other materials or individual speakers do you also have attend (related business specialists)...

    What size venue (room); is there an average that generally attend; is there an average duration time (half-day, sixty minutes or two hours).

    With the advertising of the 'seminar' details in local print media and other channels, what is the time frame - how many days prior to the event do you begin the marketing campagin?

    I like the idea, just wondering about the preparation steps..

    And thanks!!

    Well, I',m not that far down the track, but I would have a seondary speaker, so it doesn;t look like a plug that much and maybe 20 people. According to my business coach, you can;t have enough people in the room.

    All the rest - I need to figure out myself. I would probbaly pick direct mail for my target market, followed up by near-cold calls.

    Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Member Boss_Numbat's Avatar
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    Figuring out stuff by yourself is good, but I personally try and share knowledge... and there is a fairly simple reason why based on a set of 'common universal laws/rules'... happenings as I call 'em.

    Have you ever heard of the '80:20 rule' or the '90:10 rule'?

    The rule or law that states that only 20% of people will do 'more than they have to, pushing themselves and their skills'; and the remaining 80% will do 'what they need to each and every day'; bubbling along in a sense with the rest of the herd.

    I know I had heard the 80:20 rule mentioned multiple times, in many different explanations, before the penny finally slipped and began falling into place in my mental piggy bank.

    Sitepoint forums and the 'topic' threads it contains is one example of the 80:20 rule in play - for me anyway . Take this thread or any other, including your very own (if you have opened a topic).

    How many views v. comments?

    There are always more views then comments on every topic, and the veiws % always outways the comments %. Yet, the action for both is very similar - one: you read the topic thread; two: reply section is at the bottom of page.

    Takes 'how long to make a comment?' Takes 'how long to read a thread or topic?' - yet most of us, myself included simply 'read and go'; rather than 'read and leave feedback'. I am not perfect, and I do not expect anyone else to be perfect either.

    The point I wish to relay, is that we could state how an alchemist makes gold (if we had the formula) and only 20% of folks would bother to give it a go; and of those twenty percenters... less than 20% would keep trying everyday until they had the formula right...

    The 80:20 rule abounds everywhere, from results of web sites and web pages when checked for compliance to: Web safe colors, Accessiblity Compliance (W3C validators, Web Aim's 'The Wave Tool'), DDA and Section 508 Compliance and the like.

    To results more mundane, such as 'who actually prospects on a daily basis', or 'who has spent twenty minutes reading a book today'.

    I am going to explore the 'seminar line' some more and try and formulate a 'plan' - if anyone has run a seminar, I would greatly appreaciate your comments.

    Thanks
    In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes

    W3C Sites - http://www.w3csites.com/

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict
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    I'll share my experiences here, if I managed to run one. Please remind me in three months.

    Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
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  10. #10
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    Boss_Numbat: Your understanding of 80/20 is a little misguided.

    The rule applies to two sets of data. It's somewhat incorrect to think that 20% of people take action and 80% don't. The correct application would be 20% of people produce 80% of the world's outcome, when the rest of them (80%) produce merely 20% of the outcome (the "herd" as you referred to them).

    Also, many people, including myself before I learned this, get the following wrong. Since we are dealing with two sets of data, the two numbers don't have to add up to 100%. It can be a 60/10, 70/20, 65/15 rule. E.g. 10% of all your customers generate 70% of profits.

    And this applies not only to business, but to applications as well. For example, it's a somewhat known fact amongst seasoned developers that 20% of all software features will be used 80% of the time, and the rest of them will be rarely used. If you figure out what the 20% are, then you don't have to design, code, debug, support the rest of the features. That's exactly what 37Signals are doing with their online apps. They follow 80/20 and KISS very strictly!

    Think about all the software you love and hate. What do they have in common? I think love - simplicity (notepad, winamp), hate - bloat (MS Word, Media Player with all the skins, playlists and all the rest of the crap opened).

    If you are really interested in this principle, then read "The 80/20 Principle" by Richard Koch. It really changes the view of things.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moltar
    If you are really interested in this principle, then read "The 80/20 Principle" by Richard Koch. It really changes the view of things.
    I'll second that. It's an excellent book about a very valuable principle. It makes you think in a whole new way. Well worth $10.

    And author Richard Koch, if I remember correctly, made a genuine fortune in business before he wrote the book. He knows what he's talking about.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038...e=UTF8&s=books

    Paul

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member Boss_Numbat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments 'moltar and Unit7285' - greatly appreaciated. I am aware my 'slant, view' may be misguided, but it is my 'personal take' and 'interpertation' of the 80/20 for me in general - not as 'A Gods Gospel' or '508 Commandments' to be taken with water by 'seasoned developers'.

    I am not 'shooting the herd', or alternatively 'dumping on them' - I apologise in advance if I have made you folks feel so.

    Instead I was personally 'web mumbling' about a simple interpertation I share with the likes of some of the top 'producers' in some 'hard yards' (service oreintated) industry areas... Who prospect as part of their core services of 'locating work'.

    That is the 'essence' of this thread - 'Who prospects', 'How do you prospect - What do you do - What sources do you use'.

    I am interested in the 'action' the rule produces, it is this actioning - doing the hard tasks 80% of the time which produces the results, that are generally obtained by only 20%.

    I have purchased your suggested reading material, The 80/20 Principle" by Richard Koch. The folks at 37Signals have been doing some famous stuff with RoR, and it is true thier development methodologies are 'straight forward' and 'simple'.

    Cheers
    In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes

    W3C Sites - http://www.w3csites.com/


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