35 Ways To Prospect More Creatively!

by Paul Castain on November 29, 2010

You know, I could be way out of line in this assumption but prospects need creative solutions to the challenges they face in their world. More specifically they need your creativity.

Million dollar question coming atcha in 3,2,1 . . .

Do you demonstrate your creativity?

I took the liberty of putting together 35 ways for you to prospect more creatively. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you that these are the definitive creative answers to your prospecting prayers. Heck, I’ll even go as far as to tell you that some of these ideas won’t fit your style.

But what if, only one of these ideas worked for you or even . . .

Sparked an even better idea of your own?

Oh and I’ve taken the liberty of putting all 35 of these ideas into a Free E-Book for you. It will be waiting for you at the end of today’s post!

1) Consider leveraging funny days of the year like  “National Thank God It’s Monday” day and numerous other ones as a fun excuse for you to reach out to a non responsive prospect! Here’s a calendar with mucho funny days!

2)    Make a humorous Top 10 List as to why someone hasn’t returned your call or why they would want to do business with YOU!

3)    Give that boring calendar you give out a very cool make over. Have each month designed with a theme of you trying to get in to see your prospect (complete with your prospect’s name in the design) Example: One month you could have a hitch hiker holding a sign “Need to get to (Your Prospect’s Name) Office” Perhaps you could play the themes in with the seasons or non religious holidays?

4)    Get a giant cookie from your bakery and have them write “I want to take a bite out of your business” Note: This can also turn into a handy dandy Thank you when you get a new client or even an order from a client. You could change it to read “Thanks for letting me take a bite out of your business”

5)    Send a Telegram

6)    Send a personalized singing email.

7)    How about some Customized M & M’s ?

8)    Send a lottery ticket with a note that reads “Why gamble on (fill in what you do)” When you call to follow up have some fun and ask them if they won!

9)    Get some sunglasses, a cd with some good rock songs and print up some All Access Passes they can use for a tour of your facility. Play on that theme with a message like: “I take pride in making my clients look like rock stars!”

10)  http://klutz.com has a superhero starter kit complete with mask, cape etc. .Consider sending that to a prospect as a follow up to the rock star approach.

11)  Send some special occasion ice cream with this cool website!

12)  Try this two step approach: Leave a voicemail that you will be in the area on (date) and will stop by with some things of value and to say the worlds quickest hello. Take a gift bag and fill it with some company info, a pen with your logo, a pad, your business card etc. Drop by to see your prospect and present them with the goodie bag. You might want to consider Francey Nathan for some of those cool imprinted specialty items. Click here to check our her website!

13)  Purchase one of those prepaid cell phones. Send it to your prospect and tell them a time you will be calling on it and give a specific day and time.

14)  Consider having the balls to send a ball (Thank you Jamie McLennan)

15)  Go to http://www.choconet1.com/chocolate-foot.html and order chocolate feet for a few bucks a piece. Send them to your prospects with a note that reads “I’d like to get a foot in the door”

16)  Take that letter you were about to stuff into an envelope with your company name and logo and use a colored envelope instead.  Hand address that bad boy while you’re at it. It will resemble a personal card and have a higher probability of getting opened.

17)  Take a picture of you staring at the phone with a caption “Wondering if today is the day you will call me” Fed Ex it so it arrives separate from and doesn’t blend in with the other mail.

18)  For a more personal touch when sending information, place post its with handwritten notes.

19)  Consider sending something that is representative of your geographic area to folks who are out of the area. Example: I know someone who sends their clients and prospects Pretzels someone else sends Maple Syrup etc.

20)  Next time you are rejected on the phone, but you at least had a friendly conversation, send a handwritten thank you. Note: You obviously won’t win a creativity award on this one but you will stand out simply because hardly anyone does this!

21)  Sales Leadership: Send a note to your entire sales organization asking for at least 2-3 creative door openers. Compile a list of all the new cool ideas that get generated and send everyone a PDF!

22)  Send greeting cards at off holidays (July 4th, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving etc Stonehouse Collection has a great selection at a reasonable price. Click here to check it out!

23)  I know someone who drops off carnations for all the moms she has as prospects the Friday before Mother’s Day. How can you leverage a holiday like this?

24)  Call the wrong extension and ask for your contact. Once they tell you that you have the wrong extension, ask to be transferred. Transferred calls look different on the caller ID than typical calls and you might just get through.

25)  Send your prospect a humorous letter with options as to why they haven’t gotten back to you. You can even create a while you were out message.

26)  Carve time out each day to think quietly. Ask yourself the following question “In what ways can I be more creative?” This is a great creative brainstorming question for you to ponder. You can even make it more targeted by rephrasing it like this “In what ways can I creatively approach (name of account).

27)  Go for a walk or exercise while asking yourself that same question.

28)  Study creative people. Pick their brain or just study them from afar. I won’t tell anyone!

29)  Have someone video you doing a quick 3 minute intro of who you are, and a kick ass elevator speech. Tell them a specific day and time you will call to set appt. Include popcorn and candy to make it festive.

30)  How about a “Mission Impossible” type of theme where you send a series of things including that 3 minute intro, a Fed Ex or Telegram and maybe even give yourself a kick ass theme song from this royalty free music site.

31)  T.G.I.F. Kit: Create a kit of fun things for your prospect. Perhaps some candy, funny sunglasses, a funny book or comedy cd, etc. Drop it off nice and early. Write your cell number on your card so hopefully you get the thank you call before you are out of the area.

32)  Have some cheesy fun by picking up any or all of the following and tailoring a corny message: Payday candy bar, mints, Mounds, seeds, nuts etc. Example attach a note to a Mounds candy bar with a message centered around you saving them mounds of extra work etc.

33)  Add this phrase to any of the above “(name) If you think I’m working hard to get your business, you are 100% right. Think about how hard I’ll work to keep your business!”

34)  SendOutCards has some really cool customizable cards you can send to your clients and prospects. You can also send starbucks cards and various treats along with your card!

35)  Ask yourself this question every day: “How will I be memorable today?” and don’t leave the scene of that question until you get some actionable answers!

How About An Online Session Dedicated To Creative Prospecting?

That’s the plan in our upcoming How To Prospect More Effectively program.

Click HERE or the handy dandy button below for more details!

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  • http://www.copybreak.com.au Anna @ Copybreak

    Love it! I think showing a little imagination and engaging with prospects in new and exciting ways can really open the door for opportunity.

    After all, it’s always about the other party… something we could all do well to remember.

  • http://askjohncharles.com John Charles Steinmuller

    Paul, Your list is a bunch of fun & creative ideas that project a willingness to earn the prospects business. All motivate, inspire, and influence a prospect. Helps them make a buying decision because it creates the “law of reciprocity”. The prospect feels goods in getting something and will reciprocate with a greater willingness to buy from you.

    Years ago, I would carry in a #10 pound bag of large pretzels (purchased from wholesale snack biz) for the sales staff of a car dealer I was prospecting. Everyone working at the dealership grabbed one.

    I always carried big boxes of pretzels when I travelled because it worked to break the resistance barrier of a prospect. Guaranteed.

  • http://www.growthebusiness.wordpress.com mark mccarthy

    Paul, this list is fantastic. And a lot of work. I appreciate ( and I know so many others do as well) you doing this. I’m going to share this link with folks I know who are struggling lately here. This will lift both spirits and business!

    Mark

  • http://www.pearltechnology.com Dale True Jr.

    I couldn’t agree with you more Anna…Paul helps remind us that we should be out there having a little fun while we’re at it. Thanks Paul!!

  • http://twitter.com/Jamieprints Jamie McLennan

    Paul,
    Thank you for using some of my ideas – cheers. I have printed out this list and have posted it up in my office to remind me to always try something new.

    Have a great week.
    Jamie

  • http://blog.esimplestudios.com Gabriele Maidecchi

    What I like about you Paul is your original approach to almost everything you do.
    Without originality and “personal touch” things can get so dull and boring.

  • http://www.aquent.com Brenda Holley

    Uncle Paul,
    These are indeed some cool ideas and I have tried more than a few of them in my sales career. I have given out VERY large tennis shoes filled with tchotchke’s or goodies with the “foot in the door” note attached. It works beautifully!
    Brenda Holley

  • Jennings Tinsley

    Thanks Paul. I am going to try the lottery ticket idea. Only problem is if they hit the big jackpot, they wont be working long enough to become your customer!

  • Marc Zazeela

    Another winner! This is what helps the cream rise to the top. Innovative and creative ideas that are sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

    Kudos to you, Paul, for providing us some of tools we need to become the best at what we do.

    And in appreciation, the first round’s on me!

  • http://www.yoursalesplaybook.com/ Paul Castain

    Thank you all for taking the time to stop by.
    Let’s all get out there and try something new!
    Respectfully,
    Paul Castain

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

    This list was freaking awesome P’….I sent it to my entire staff…thank you!!

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  • http://SourcePointAssociates.com Larry Megugorac

    Paul,

    As usual…very creative…The M&M’s idea is cool way to get that unreturned phone call to pop up.

    Merry Christmas…may 2011 be better for us all!

    Magoo

  • http://www.stratascope.com Ann Fortier

    #17 wins my vote !!! Thanks Paul

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    A belated “Thank you” Roger!

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  • http://www.candlewoodsuites.com/dallasplanotx Travel Matters

    Paul, I love the T.G.I.F. Survival Kit!!! Definitely, trying this one!

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    Thank you!

    Let me know how it works for you !

  • Claire Speedy

    These are brill!! love them all, in particular no. 8 & no. 33, thanks :)

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    Thank you Claire!

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