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Prospecting definition

Prospecting (© SFIO CRACHO /

Prospecting (© SFIO CRACHO /

Prospecting is something that everyone who works in marketing or advertising, or who is a professional salesperson or perhaps even owns a company must do. It is a very important term in marketing because it is one of the primary tasks of the marketer.

We will be looking at marketing in-depth today, exploring the methods of prospecting with a specific focus on online prospecting, but other methods as well.

What is Prospecting?

Outside of marketing and advertising circles, the term prospecting may invoke images of an old-time gold prospector with a mining pick. But prospecting as it is used today is a term that simply means going out and finding customers. There are a lot of methods of prospecting, and today, a lot of psychological techniques are used to get customers. But no matter what the method is, it is still known as prospecting at the most basic level.

The Methods of Prospecting

The first things that we are going to cover are some of the methods of prospecting. Understanding the methods that are used in prospecting will allow you to understand the entire process better.

  • Cold calling: cold calling is when you call someone on the phone that you have not previously contacted and have no idea how receptive they will be to your message.
  • Referrals: marketers tend to have more luck with referrals. These are people that your customers have recommended to you might be interested in your product or service.
  • Networking: networking is when you actually go out and talk to your friends and family as well as colleagues and try to get names of people – as well as contact information – that might be interested in what you have to say.
  • Email marketing: email marketing requires that you collect email addresses that you are allowed to contact with a commercial message. If you do not collect the addresses beforehand, and you just send your message to random emails, it is considered spam.
  • Content marketing: content marketing is when you write content that is geared to sell, filled with keywords that you will rank for within the search engines results page.
  • Social networks: using social networks is also a great way to prospect for clients. The methods of doing this vary, and you have to walk a fine line between making people want to follow you and getting your message out there.
  • Webinars: seminars and webinars are great ways to get people to listen to what you have to say. If you can teach someone something that they desire to know, then you have an opportunity to pitch your products and services. What is especially effective is if your product or service solves their problem.
  • Door-to-door: there are still companies out there that do their prospecting door to door but they are much fewer now than they once were.
  • Advertising: finally, if you have money to spend then you can get your prospects by advertising.

Expert Advice: Improve Your Prospecting Odds

Now, let’s take a look at some expert advice that will help you improve your prospecting odds as well as your technique.

  • Warm up your prospects before you call them. If you can develop a relationship with the prospect, then it is no longer cold calling you have a greater chance of success.
  • Get your brand recognized as a leader in the field. If you can do this, and you come across a customer who knows your brand, you will not have to work as hard to get them to buy.
  • Don’t look at it is selling. Look at it as solving the customer’s problem. If you are a problem solver, you will have a lot more confidence and the customer will be more receptive.


The bottom line is that there are a lot of different methods used to prospect. As a marketer, you have the choice to use one particular method, several methods or all of the methods at once. Some methods will work better for some people, but the main thing to keep in mind is that you have to get customers. You can use some of the expert advice listed in the previous section to improve your odds when it comes to prospecting.


Press releases

BA Investment: prospecting mission to Africa
Taking advantage of positive developments in its main activities, Mauritian company British American Investment Co. (Mtius) Ltd pursues prospecting missions in Africa. A team comprising senior executives of the group is back to the Indian Ocean island after a visit to Sub-Saharan Africa where they established contacts with potential investors and
Data8 announce improved telephone prospecting applications
Data8 have today announced a number of additional services to help clients who are using telephone data for prospecting. Antony Allen, managing director data8 said “Our technical team have developed three new services to assist telephone marketers, firstly Live Number Checking, using our proprietary technology we can validate that telephone numbers
Data Append/Data Cleanse results in targeted Email Marketing and accurate Sales prospecting
What is Data Cleaning? Data cleaning refers to the process of correcting, detecting, replacing, and modifying data from a record database, table, and record. The data cleaning process involves the repeated cycles of documentation and screening of data to implement error prevention strategies. As error patterns are detected, entry procedures and
New 8-Week Online Class For Real Estate Agents Teaches Prospecting, Sales and Client Management Skills
Krista Baker, founder of, announces the availability of a new eight-week course titled "Real Estate Business-Builder System for Residential Real Estate Agents," beginning October 26, 2010. The course was created to arm residential real estate agents with hands-on prospecting, lead generation, and sales skills to grow their real estate business
Sales Prospecting and Lead Generation Software Market Research Insights with Upcoming Trends Segmentation, Opportunities and Forecast to 2028
Global Sales Prospecting and Lead Generation Software Market Report provides a detailed Industry overview along with the analysis of Cost Structure, Supply Chain, Development Management Techniques, Retailers Analysis, Financial Support, business Strategies, Marketing Channels. Global Sales Prospecting and Lead Generation Software Market research report provide a point-by-point In-Depth analysis of