Professional salespeople have to bring in a certain percentage of new clients in order to reach their sales quota. Learning how to get sales leads will help you to reach your personal and professional goals.
Things You Will Need
* The Internet
Ask your existing clients if they know of someone who would benefit from your products or services. The most effective advertisements, and thus the most effective sales leads, come from your customers. It is almost entirely up to you to determine if it's going to be a positive ad campaign or a negative one. This step is what separates honest, hardworking salespeople from the dishonest (though sometimes harder working) salespeople. Anyone who has spent any significant time in sales has been exposed to the "turn 'em and burn 'em philosophy of selling. A true professional salesperson's job is to give their potential client the information they need to make the decision that is right for them. So many salespeople lose sight of this simple truth, telling their potential customers what they think they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. A potential customer who decides that what you are selling isn't right for them may know of three other people that could actually use your services or products. A client that you have lied to (because of a personal lack of integrity on your part) will not hesitate to let everyone within earshot know how you took advantage of them.
Get a membership directory from the Chamber of Commerce for each city you're working in. Businesses that join the local chamber are typically run by the types of people that understand the effectiveness of networking, and you will in turn get many great sales leads from this resource, no matter what you are selling. Membership directories, or "Chamber Guides", as they are sometimes known, are almost always free of charge. Joining the chamber of commerce will also help you as you expand your network of potential clients.
Start a blog. As a professional salesperson, you should be well on your way to becoming an expert on whatever it is that you sell. For example, if you sell new cars, make yourself an expert on at least two of the models that you sell, and then list interesting things about them on your blog. The goal here is to be informative without overtly trying to sell the cars to a potential customer. Make sure that your contact information is on every page of the blog. Example: "If you have a question about the XYZ model or any other automobile on our lot, contact me directly at" Email a link to your blog to all of your existing customers, as well as the potential customers that you have an email address for. Print the blog's URL on your business cards. If you keep it informative and low-key, your blog will continuously generate sales leads for you as it becomes more popular.
If you've taken care of your existing customers, most of them will be happy to give you referrals, invite you to networking groups that they know of, and in general be your strongest supporters and allies. Everyone has a story about getting ripped off by an unscrupulous salesperson, too few have a story to tell about a great experience with someone that sells for a living. Be that great experience and you'll be successful beyond your wildest dreams.
Tips & Warnings
* Get organized! Multitudes of fantastic sales leads have been lost because the pertinent info was scribbled on the back of a receipt or some other scrap of paper.