Now depending on your industry this will differ, but there are certain things you need to have in place in order to get your sales rolling.
A Contact Point
You need some way in which people can contact you. You would think this would be easy but anyone whose worked at home with family knows this isn’t the case! It can be quite embarrassing when a client phones and your mum picks up the phone and although some people appreciate the sort of ‘family business’ approach it might undermine you a little if your 5 year old is screaming about her Barbie in the background. It’s key not only to have a point of contact, but to get into the routine of checking it regularly. I’m often surprised at the amount of business who just don’t pick up their phone/email.
If you are prospecting in any real capacity then you will need to keep a list of the details of the prospect, their contact details, last time you called and notes about them and what you’ve said. Even if you were running a bakery it would be good to count how many people passed that day, how many people you served, what they bought. This is an essential tool allowing you to pick up a conversation where it left off.
How Many People
As for how many people you should be targeting I would suggest to you that an often quoted figure for success is 5%. That’s right. If you do everything right you might be getting in front of 5% of people who are cold contacts. So targeting 10 people is no good. Targeting 10,000 people is also not good and likely to lead to fatigue/repetition so ideally somewhere in the middle. You want to target enough people you can go a good job, have time to follow up (which is key) but are reaching enough people to give yourself a chance. Typically I have about 150 companies on my list. Most often this will comprise 2/3 of people from previous months I’m still trying to contact and 1/3 new businesses.