My sons love to fish. I like to fish. The problem is, we don't know how to fish — or better stated, we don't know how to FIND where the fish are hanging out. And we're not alone. There is an entire industry devoted to helping folks like us find and catch fish — charter fishing captains. Hire a good one, and you'll catch your limit every time.
The world of business development and sales prospecting is just like fishing. Sure, you could hire a charter sales prospecting captain; there are numerous companies devoted to doing that for organizations all over the world. And most likely, they'd help you find sales prospects and maybe even catch a few.
But, because you don't know how they're finding these sales prospects, you become dependent on them anytime you want to catch a new client — just like my sons and I depend on local charter fishing captains to put us on fish. And that's a problem in my opinion.
So today, I'm going to teach you how to fish — for qualified sales prospects — using an inexpensive online tool and the science of Propinquity.
Why Propinquity is THE Solution to Your Sales Prospecting Challenges
Sales prospecting success today means thinking less like restaurants and more like taco trucks. Restaurants build or rent a building, set up shop, and spend lots of time, money, and effort creating awareness of their restaurant and enticing you to eat there.
Taco trucks take a completely different approach. They figure out where the prospective customers are hanging out (Propinquity Points). Then they park their taco truck on the curb in front of the customers and sell them food.
In a world where you can’t necessarily track content consumption and sharing activity, Propinquity-based sales prospecting helps you stack the deck in your favor by ensuring your content, advertising, or maybe even YOU are in front of the RIGHT people.
And if you consistently appear in front of the right sales prospects, who should want to do business with you, then science tells us those qualified sales prospects will take notice and, when the time is right, CALL YOU to discuss how you can help them.
Classifying Propinquity Points
There are two types of Propinquity Points you'll want to discover as you plan your next sales prospecting effort.
Outposts are like hotels. Places where your prospective clients naturally congregate that you and/or your content check in to from time to time. A guest post on a popular blog, an article for a magazine, an appearance on a podcast, or a speaking engagement at a relevant conference are all great examples of Outposts. You or your content appears, if someone has a question or two, you answer, and then you're off to the next Outpost.
Embassies are like... Embassies. Places where you'll plant a flag and participate as a good citizen because your prospective customers hang out there. Online Embassies live on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Offline Embassies look like networking groups, PTA meetings, gyms, country clubs, or any group organized around personal or professional passions. But unlike Outposts where you're in and out, Embassies are places you'll make a continuous and focused effort to show up, make friends, and influence others.
How To Find YOUR Propinquity Points
There are numerous tools and techniques, beginning with primary research and ending with social listening, that will help you discover and rank your Propinquity Points. One of my favorites is SparkToro, created by the super-smart Rand Fishkin. It's one of the platforms I teach you how to use in our Master Class: Painless Prospecting for Agencies, and I've unlocked that specific lesson and placed it below so you can see the power of SparkToro for yourself.
I love SparkToro for Propinquity Point research when I'm starting to target a new audience because the platform lets me cast a wide net based on what folks are talking about. So I don't need to know who I'm targeting or where they may already hang out. I only need to know what kinds of things they talk about online or what words likely appear in their online bio.
It's an insanely easy and very intuitive interface. But you have to be careful because you can quickly start playing the "what if" game, and the next thing you know, your kid is calling from school asking why you're late picking him up.
Or so I've been told.
But seriously, if I've piqued your curiosity... watch the 11 min video (5'ish min if you choose 2X speed) to see how this tool can help you begin Painlessly Prospecting by identifying the best places to park your taco truck.
Speaking of Propinquity, if you're a first-time reader and liked this piece, why not consider subscribing so we can create a little Propinquity?? Of course, you can break up at any time if you don't like what we send . Till next time.