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Create your Prospect List

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Prospecting is finding potential customers for your business. Sounds daunting? It isn’t always comfortable, but it doesn’t need to be scary. Once you get organized you will feel more confident.

Last blog ( I discussed how selling is a process and you will need to develop a way to document your progress. This blog is about brainstorming your potential prospects and creating a solid list to pursue. Electronic or paper will do, just make sure you write it down!

Step 1: Make sure you identify your growth opportunity and your target market

What is your growth opportunity? Some examples are:

  • Obtain new customers for your core business

  • Introduce a new product or service

  • Sell additional products or services to your current customers

Write out exactly what you are trying to achieve by creating and working through the sales process.

Next write down a description of the customer you are targeting with your specific growth opportunity. Continue to work on both statements until you are quite specific.

Step 2: Write down everybody you know who could be a prospect

Current and past customers, family, friends, acquaintances – everybody is fair game! This is a brainstorming exercise so don’t worry if they are a good prospect or not, just write down anybody who comes to mind.

Step 3: Compare your list to your target market

Edit out names that do not match your target market. If you don’t know, keep them on the list. Spend some time researching or talking to them to determine if they are a prospect or now.

Step 4: Add additional prospects to the list

You have a good start, but you will need to continue to add new possibilities to your list. How do you do this? Here are some tips:

  • Spend time in places where your target market resides

Think about events and volunteer opportunities where your target customer will be. Attend, meet people, get involved! But be strategic about it – make sure you will come into contact with potential customers. Your time is valuable.

  • Have a good answer to the question “What do you do for a living?”

When meeting new people this question is bound to come up. Let’s say you are the owner of a boutique. You could say “I own a clothing store.” Or you could say “I own a boutique on Pine Avenue. We specialize in classic and comfortable clothing for women. We also carry casual handbags and accessories.” By providing more information you have the opportunity to engage in a more meaningful conversation about your business.

  • Stop talking – listen instead!

Contrary to popular belief the best salespeople do not talk much! They ask open-ended questions and really listen to the answers. By getting to know people and their needs you will form a natural relationship and be able to understand if they are in your target market and explain your business in a way that makes sense.

Step 5: Work on your referrals

Referrals are great prospects because somebody else has done the work for you! Check out my referral blog for more info:

Prospecting is not a one-and-done exercise - you should be continually adding names to your list to create a good flow of opportunities. Reach out if you have any questions!

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