Prospecting for leads is a common response to the challenge of finding new customers or clients.
Prospecting For Precious Metals
This approach is modeled on the process of prospectors searching for precious metals such as gold.
In practice it involves hunting for whatever signs indicate the presence of gold.
Once satisfied of potential payoff, the prospector devotes resources time to finding and converting gold into a salable commodity.
Certainly the search part of prospecting is like looking for new clients for our professional services. And yes, an element of our marketing includes looking for signs that we are close to finding what we seek — potentially ideal clients.
But that’s where service-providers marketing their services part company with prospecting for precious metals.
Prospectors seek inanimate things like seams of gold or nuggets that they themselves need and want for commercial purposes. Once the gold has been extracted and processed, it is sold as the commodity it is.
Among other things, marketing services is about identifying individuals and organizations who want or need the kind of help we offer.
Our work involves interacting with people, not processing physical things.
Unlike prospectors, we cannot physically extract potential clients from their surroundings and then apply appropriate procedures to generate the outcomes that we want.
Also unlike prospectors we can engage potential clients, helping them understand the benefits that they will receive from our services.
The ideal outcome of this engagement is a relationship with people that leads to their voluntarily choosing us to help them with whatever problems or issues they face.
Hopefully, this relationship will be ongoing, with potential clients making the transition to actual clients and from there to satisfied clients. Unlike salable commodities, regardless of their dollar value, satisfied clients represent a permanent, renewable asset capable of continuously producing new revenue through repeat and referral business.
It is this ability to engage potential clients that limits the relevance of prospecting for leads to marketing professional services.
As service professionals when we want more new business, we need more effective marketing strategies than those used to prospect for precious metals.
The best strategy for marketing professional services engages potential clients…not treat them as inanimate elements to be processed for sale.