prospect as you go

Prospect As You Go

Years ago, I attended a class on Brand Identity Design and a core professional was called upon by the facilitator to teach us about how to get clients and the ways we can keep them coming back for our services. It was a great learning experience for me and I have held to the things shared there all this time.

One of the things he talked about was the issue of prospecting for businesses. He said some people have this notion that you go somewhere to sell yourself, your goods and your ideas. He called it going somewhere to prospect.

This idea is actually good and effective when planned out. An example would be at events where you are to have a stand for example to display your goods and services such as an expo. There is also the aspect of being invited to meetings and summits where businesses pitch ideas and solutions.

All these ideas work but he advised that we go a step further, seeing as those do not happen every other day of the week and even if they did, the time for such events may not always be there. Basically, he was saying, instead of going somewhere to do this, there is the other method of doing this as you go. He called it prospecting, as you go.

I saw this play out within days when I was called upon for a photo shoot, the pictures from which were to be used in a design project. As I set up and waited for the shoot to begin, a lady who makes and sells beads was present. It turns out she was the person who was also in charge of the makeup for the models in the shoot. Now it is not uncommon to find people who specialize in more than one field of endeavour so this was no shocker for me

The thing that got to me was that while she was doing her work, she was making comments to the models about her services and how she not only covered shoots but also weddings and other exclusive events – be they high class or moderate in terms of expense. She also brought with her two booklets showing her work and a box which had some of her beads.

It was a neat box and well compartmentalised. As if that was not enough, she had her mobile device as well with more pictures of her work. She was not only good at what she did but she was selling herself rather well and everyone took a card and some actually bought a few beads as well. That is how you sell yourself and make a sale as well!

That is prospecting as you go. She struck up a conversation with the people there and asked questions. When people made comments about the shoot or asked questions on the clothes and makeup, she was ready to respond. I daresay she did a better job than the organizers of the shoot and could as well have handled it all on her own if she knew how to work the cameras as well.

She was that good and engaging. From makeup for a shoot to selling beads and getting possible future jobs. That is how to get things done right. The truth is you never know when opportunity will come knocking, insistent on you showing what you can do and if you are not ready, you miss out on that chance.

You may even go as far as printing T-shirts and wearing them from time to time or making others wear them. Trust me, people love good aesthetics. Once that design is something great, they will ask to know more about it and before you know it, you have a new client or someone who knows someone who does.


The truth is you never know when opportunity will come knocking, insistent on you showing what you can do and if you are not ready, you miss out on that chance.


That may not be your ” thing”  and that is fine. Sit down and draw up a strategy that works for you and execute it. You have all the time in the world to revise and modify it and correct any mistakes you may make along the line or simply work on things you wish to improve. That lady was too good at what she did to have started that day. She had had practice and obvious successes before then and this was her well-refined pitch in play.

Have something of yours handy for display and conversation, always. It is a wise thing to do in this modern age. You never know where you will meet a new client. I hope this article helps someone be better prepared to take their business to the next level.


Onuora Onianwa


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