So you want to increase your sales?

The 15 Ways to Sell & Prospect


By: Kordell Norton, Copyright 2007, all rights reserved


Your time and money are limited, but the expectations for sales growth are still constant.  The following list is made up of ways to prospect and sell.  It starts with the most expensive and time consuming and ends with the most effective and efficient. 


15 – Cold Calls

Consider the following.

  • With email and voicemail, 80% of all communication between people occurs between a person and some form of technology. 
  • The negative public sentiment against telemarketers and laws to restrict telemarketing into the home, carry over to the workplace. 
  • 55% of the communication process is visual so you start “in the hole” with any telephone conversation. 
  • Over 20 years ago, one study indicated that the price of actually GOING on a sales call was over $1,000. 
  • Add “Call to Close Rate” statistics and the numbers game involved, you realize there are less expensive, more effective ways to sell.

Hard worked needed: Moral and mental stamina, patience, a polished scripted message and disciplined time management. 


14 - Direct Mail

This selling process allows you to start to get mind share with the customer using your logo, picture, images, and marketing messages.  Success rate is still a numbers game.  1% to 5% based on market, message, repetition of message with multiple mailings.  Less expensive than cold calling.   Recent trends are to “give away” value in mailings, instead of using them as a teaser.   Another recent trend is the use of hard hitting/multiple post cards.   Benefits: Curiosity responders can bring quick customer contact.  Hard work needed:  Trial and Error and testing of the mailing piece.  A long term commitment to do multiple touches to the same customers is needed.  Must be benefits oriented.


13 – Advertising

This is the world of ink and multimedia electrons.  This advertising carries a fairly large budget and production costs.  Often this type of contact carries more credibility than direct mail.   Good for mass markets but not for smaller businesses where focus of message and product are essential. 


12 – Internet – Web Pages

This is expected entry level marketing and as essential as a business card.  More advanced web sites require large expenditures to do shopping carts and 7/24 business.  Hard work needed: A web designer that understands marketing and sells versus someone who can do graphic design.  Caution:  Most web designers do NOT understand marketing.  They do know how to make the screen do great things, but don’t always understand how to use the web to increase YOUR income. 


11 – Internet – Virtual Partners

Someone is surfing a respected web site due to a creditable reference (products research, article reference, Google index).  While on that site they find a reference to a “partner” website.  They then move to your web site.  Hard work needed: You own web page, and networking with others who can compliment your efforts. 


10 – Electron Proactive Marketing

eZines, eMail blasts, blogs, podcasts.  The new New Thing, these technology products are very inexpensive for the return on investment in time and money.  They are built on the premise that you deliver some value to the customer (give it away for free) and that they will 1.) Start giving mind share to you and your message or 2.) Pass your information/value onto someone else, thus in essence giving you a referral.  Hard work needed: investment in technology or expertise.  You will need to become a publisher of information. 


9 – Trade Shows

This is where networking begins.   Networking is the greatest way to establish your reputation and position in the market place although it tends to not be a good way to reach higher levels of management.  If the trade show is to complete strangers then care has to be taken to follow up with them later.  If it is to a mixed crowd of new and existing customers, it can be an opportunity to get referral business. 


8 – Expert

The power of drawing customers to you based on perceived value.  Authors of articles and books.  Publicity is the key.   Hard work needed:  writing becomes the job.  You will need a plan to write AND market your information. 


7 – Speaker

Rotary, Chambers of Commerce. Kawanis, and others.   The time is usually under an hour.  Hard work needed:  Preparation and understanding of the audience, ability to understand and use humor (not jokes). 


6 – Seminars, Workshops, Breakouts at Conferences

You are the expert and have the mind share of the customer.  Hard work needed:  Information given, with the ability to change thinking with follow-up materials.  PowerPoint is not enough.  You need to have speaking/presentation skills and a focus on getting results for your participants. 


5 – Networking

These are public settings where you meet with others who are potential customers or could refer you to potential customers.  Some networking events (Associations) are touted as true networking events where others are quasi-networking (Rotary Club membership). Hard work needed:  30 second commercial, Rules of Networking, a plan, helpful to have a networking partner to maximize your impact.  If you are talking to friends at a networking event, you are doing it wrong.


4 – Solicited Referral

This is asking contacts, customers to refer you to new customers.  Hard work needed: Time to build relationship with existing customers so that you are “not a stranger”.  Usually this means you have a plan to put yourself in the mind of the contact regularly. 


3 – Unsolicited Referral

These are referrals from current customers to new business.  Hard work needed: This business is built on excellent execution of value and performance to your existing customers.  Built on the rule of Unlimited Abundance: “When people see you do what you do so well, they brings others with them, to show them what you do.” 


2 – Selling New Products to Existing Customers

Because you are a known entity, they will talk to you about new things that are going on in their business.  You should know the deep dark secrets of the customer’s organization so you can help them solve problems with new products and offerings.  Hard work needed: Time management as you converse on new products and directions.


And the number one way to prospect and/or sell:


1 – Sale or reorder from a present Customer

They trust you, they know you, they like you.  They know your delivery and have confidence in your value.  You are a partner in their business.  Hard work needed:  Service, service, service.  This is the realm of making serious, long term, strong friendships.  Manipulation is NOT part of this relationship.  Customer Service is an expected value and collaboration is becoming the norm.  Understanding the customer’s problems and how your products and services solve those challenges is a must.  It is not about you.  It is about them and the value you can bring to their business. 



About Kordell Norton - The Top Line Guy

Your organization has a strong interest in the "top line" for growth. As a consultant, speaker, author, Kordell Norton works with corporate, association, education and government organizations who want to focus on branding, sales, marketing, strategic planning/leadership, team building, and customer service.

Kordell was an executive with several multi-billion dollar corporations with executive suite positions in sales, HR, marketing and call centers. As a certified Graphic Facilitator, he uses highly visual processes, along with humor, and entertaining methods for powerful, high energy presentations.

Author of Throwing Gas on the Fire - creating drastic change in Sales and Marketing

He can be reached at (330) 405-1950 or at or at his website -