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This blog is about targeted, researched cold calling. It is looked at from the perspective of an ICT reseller to the SMB market.

This is what I call the sniper rifle approach rather than the shotgun approach.

It is about targeting the types of company that you can ( easily and effectively ) provide solutions for. Actually, you are looking for prospects where your strengths and experience help you to outshine or get an edge over the competition.  

This requires at least 2 things:


1.       That you understand the prospect as far as possible both initially (  even before you have spoken to them ) and after you have met with them.

2.       That you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the solutions that you are selling.


So, this might lead, for example ( if you were a ICT reseller ) to you looking for companies with an  inbound and outbound calling requirement  ( say small sales departments or small customer support departments ) because you have good CRM to telephony integration. Or it might lead to you avoiding other prospects with say, warehouses,  because you don’t have cordless phone facilities
(    eg DECT )



What are your target markets and how do you describe them??


There are a number of ways to describe your target markets:


Horizontal size


You may be aiming at “ SMB “ but what does this really mean ??? 1- 10, 10 – 50, 50 – 100, 100 – 250, 250 + ???  ( A 10 person company is very different to a 250 person company )




You may only be interested in a particular geography or it may  be practical and efficient to deal only with a particular geography.  




Where have you got references/case studies/testimonials ?? ( In other words so that when you talk to prospects you can say that you have worked with that type of firm and provided them with effective solutions ).


If you segment your existing database by customer/prospect and by industry you can see where your strengths lie at the moment.


You may have eg legal firms and accountants appearing to come to top of the pile of your preferred verticals. Are there any more verticals you should focus on ??




By structure I mean are they single site or multi-site ?? What departments do they have ? sales ? admin ? customer support ? manufacturing ? financial ? This is going to tell you eg if they have or need a WAN and also whether they are likely to need things like CRM/Telephony Integration or cordless phones etc etc




Financial Strength


Some companies are more profitable and cash generative than others. They can afford to spend more on ICT systems.



Growth Rate 


Some companies are small but rapidly growing and if so they need flexible, expandable systems and keep coming back for more.





Some companies are forward thinking in terms of their use of ICT and some are not. ( If they have a good Internet presence this may e an indication of thier attitude to Information Technology.




Cisco’s classification


Interestingly Cisco recently proposed   a classification of “Elite “ users, “ Open to suggestion “ users and “ Basic “ users.



Your best customers


Another way of identifying your target market is to say “ Well we want more customers like …. one of our existing customers “ and we could describe them as being … ( use the above classifications ).



What I am suggesting  is that you get to the point where you can say  – these are our top targets. You can  then develop supporting collateral to help sell to those target markets. By analysing your existing database of customers and perhaps getting testimonials and case studies from and about some of them you will be able to build on a strong foundation.



You can then either acquire data for these targets ( N.B. Once you know who your targets are you need only buy data for those particular prospects – this saves a lot of money )  or  apply the internet search approach outlined below.





Lets say that you decide to target lawyers in Dorset




We Google them and we have a sort through.


Which ones are tiny, small, medium size ??


Do they have multiple offices ( ie they have a WAN and a LAN ) ??


Which ones have a good internet presence ??  ( ie they are high tech ?? )


Is there any news about any of them ??




eg they are expanding,growing etc etc


we can usually get the partners names or a contact.


Maybe we can get an idea of numbers of staff ??


What can we predict about them ??


We can then make a warmish cold call ???? (or we could do a ” targeted mailer ” and then follow up ?? ) 



So you don’t really need lists of data to get started. 



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