Prospecting and Qualifying Clients
Prospecting activities is very important to a web hosting consultant's work. Prospecting is simply defined as to look for potential clients to work with. Prospecting should be a continuous routine activity to ensure that the web consultants will have enough new workable clients every month. Oftentimes, web consultants tend to neglect prospecting activities whenever they are taking care of many accounts already.
- Prospect deep within a single industry or group
There are a lot of advantages of working deep into a single industry:
- Your research time is lessened
- You become familiar to the industry's issues, players
- Clients will then see credibility and competence because you are familiar with their industry
- Selling effort is easier with familiarity.
- Potential Markets for Our Services
Domain Registration prospects:
- Practically anybody who would be putting up a website
- Those with expiring domains who would like to transfer to us because of lower price.
- Companies with websites but do not have their own domain names (ex. www.mozcom.com/officedepot) The reason for this is because they are probably subscribing their internet with mozcom and using mozcom's servers as hosting to put up their website-usually for free.
Website Development prospects:
- All types of businesses regardless of the company size would benefit from having a website-although a website may have more impact on some businesses than others, depending on the nature of their business.
- As an example, the following businesses will immediately benefit from having a website:
- Business involving overseas operations (ex. Export)
- Business has many products or services that needs explanation
- Business is service oriented
- Business needs to project credibility and prestige
- Business spends a lot of money on brochures and advertisement.
- E-Businesses or companies that operate online to generate income.
- Professionals (photographers, designers, artists, models, celebrities, politicians, brokers, etc) *They would need a website to advertise their services, show their works, profiles, communicate with their fans or constituents.
- Government Agencies
- Non-Government, Non-profit Agencies
Government agencies are required by presidential decree to have their own website.
d) Non-Government, Non-profit Agencies
• Non-profit organizations usually have a message or a vision to spread. They also usually have to communicate with various members and agencies. e) Associations, Federations, Unions
• Associations are put up usually for a particular cause which can be strengthened by a website. Websites also help facilitate communication among members easily. f) Institutions (Banks, Schools, Hospitals, Churches)
• Institutions are usually service-oriented thereby requiring effective communication channels with its customers or members.
Website Hosting Services prospects
• Those planning to put up a website
• Those with existing websites
• Web developers, free-lancers, individuals who know how to make a website but needs hosting services for the website they will make.
4. Sources of Prospects:
- Personal Contacts-These are the best sources of clients. No need to go through the gatekeeper.
- Referrals- Referrals come from either friends or past clients. They are excellent sources too.
- Affiliates- Affiliates are partners like freelance web developer whose clients are in need of our services
- Newspaper and Magazine Advertisements are excellent sources.-Businesses who advertise in newspapers are good prospects as you know that they have some product or service to promote and are willing to pay for advertising.
- Yellow pages are excellent sources as they are classified by industry. Also yellow pages placement is expensive-ranging from 2,000 to 20,000 a month (compare that to the cost of annual web hosting fee of only P5,500). Therefore, from the yellow pages alone, you would know which company has the budget to spend or not.
- Outdoor Signs and Advertisements are expensive. Those boards along highways can cause from P100,000 to P400,000 a month in rentals. Those companies are good prospects.
- Trade directories are classified per industry and have complete information and contact person.
- Trade Shows and Exhibits- Trade shows and exhibits are expensive to join. Usually costing anywhere from P30,000 to P200,000 a day! They are excellent sources of clients because they are aggressively spending on advertisements and their brochures are available for creating sample sites and sometimes the decision maker is there already.
- Internet-Portals are websites where various businesses pay to be listed because they belong to a particular category. (Ex. weddinglibrary.com.ph, kasal.com). The businesses listed may only contain a one page website with some contact numbers-but they don't have their own domain name and more pages-they are excellent prospects.
- E-Directories. A good example of this is E-Yellow Pages (www.eyp.ph) where companies pay to listed in this internet-based directory. These are good prospects because they show companies who are open to an online presence but may not have their own website yet.
- Search engines showing companies with poorly-designed or incomplete websites.
- Email addresses - Email addresses will give clues whether that business will need our services. If you see an email address that is something like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. It usually means that the company uses internet and has an email but does not have a website. Ideally, their email should be something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Qualifying Prospects
It is important to qualify the prospect first before approaching them. That would primarily mean not only determining the impact to their business of having a website, but the financial costs of it as well. Ask yourself:
1. Does the client need a website?
2. Do the competitors of the clients have websites?
3. Would spending 15,000 to 30,000 etc. one time be too big for the client?
4. Can the client afford to pay yearly hosting and domain renewal?
5. Will the cost be high for the client initially but the advantages far outweigh the cost?