Filed under Business, Education


By Dan Caramanico



Identifying your prospect is critical if you are to grow your book of business rapidly and efficiently. When I ask salespeople to describe their ideal prospect, I often get vague answer s or answers which are not very useful.  They say things like “I sell widgets to small and medium sized companies in the Midwest.” Or they say “I work with people with a net worth of $10 million and up to get them a better return”.  How can I refer to either of these people? I don’t know what kind of company uses widgets or who in the company buys them or who my friend wants to be introduced to. And how am I supposed to know what someone’s net worth is?

Every salesperson should identify their typical ideal prospect in writing. The ideal prospect is a company who values your opinion, uses a full range of your products and pays you a fair price. Your description should include:

  • Problems that you solve for this type of company.
  • What the general demographic characteristics are.
  • Who you need to make contact with.


It is important to describe in some detail what problems you solve for this type of company because problems are what will cause the prospect to buy from you. It also allows them to relate better to what you do. This will be important in many different situations. If someone asks you what you do you should say “We work with Presidents of small to medium sized companies who are struggling with how to reduce their energy bills.” The person asking the question can relate to that. They might even say, “Hey my uncle runs a company and they are always complaining about the energy bills.” However, if you were to say “We perform energy audits. Our expertise is in Thermodynamics and heat transfer calculations.” No one would have any idea what you actually do. And, more importantly, would have no idea who to refer to you. They would probably say something like “that sounds interesting.”


If you start thinking in terms of what  problems you solve rather than what you actually do, you will find that your conversations with prospect go easier, your referral sources will have a better idea of who to refer you to, and it will be easier to find the prospects that you need to fill up your pipeline.


Dan Caramanico is a salesforce development expert and he is the author of The Optimal Salesperson® One of Selling power’s top ten books for 2010. Get his weekly 1-minute video sales tips and some free sales training;

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