Prospect Outside of Your Usual Territory and Get More Clients

Traditional salespeople tend to concentrate their sales efforts within a set geographical area or territory.  Over the years, I have found that entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals tend to do the same thing.  While they may not limit their prospecting to a specific geographic location, territorypinonmapthey do subconsciously limit their sales “territory.”

Most entrepreneurs start out by selling their services to people they feel comfortable around: friends, family, and other people they already know.  This is a fabulous way to get your business started and gain some confidence in selling your services.  Eventually, however, you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to maximize your sales.

Selling can be very intimidating if you’re just starting out in business.  It can also be intimidating if you’ve been used to sitting back and getting a steady stream of referrals.  It can be down right frightening to sell outside of your usual circle of influence if you’ve never had to do it before and/or if you are afraid of being rejected.

In order to really be proactive and increase your sales, you have to be willing to look for clients outiside of your initial comfort zone.

Here are 3 ways to prospect outside of your usual territory and get more clients:

1) Expand your sphere of influence.

One way to move beyond your usual circle of influence is to keep adding to it. Networking is a great way to meet new people and build relationships with folks who might be great potential clients or new referral sources. The key here is to actually follow-up with the people you meet and nurture the relationship. If you’re already a networker, choose one new event, meeting, or conference to attend this month that will introduce you to a new group of people.

2) Hang out with your ideal peeps.

Get to know everything you can about your ideal clients.  Start by reasearching these questions.

  1. Where do they shop, what magazines do they read?
  2. What shows do they watch?
  3. What to do they like to do in their spare time?
  4. What are their hobbies?
  5. What charities do they support?

The answers to these questions will give you some “out-of-the-box”  ideas as to where you need to be showing up and getting involved.  Often when we think of prospecting, we think of speaking at or attending business events or cold-calling people. You can find prospective clients and potential referral partners almost anywhere, if you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone and think strategically.

3) Search for people with a specific problem.

I’ve noticed that many women entrepreneurs sometimes resist talking about the problems their potential clients are experiencing because they don’t want to seem too negative or nosey.  Everyone who is in business is in business because they provide a solution to a specific problem or need. Once you focus on the specific problem you solve, become more familiar with it and more comfortable exploring it, potential clients will become more apparent.

If you’re attracting a lot of prospects who aren’t a good fit, you are probably unclear on the problem you are solving.  Many service-based entrepreneurs are good at outlining their service but not the specific problems that they help people overcome.  Look for problems that you can solve and you will recognize potential clients where you may have overlooked them before.


I would love to hear you thoughts on how you prospect outside of your usual territory.  Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Tiffany, outstanding advice as usual. I particularly like #3 as far as searching for people with a very specific problem. I implement #1 on a regular basis (expanding our reach is great) and it ties to #2 which is very important to study and understand our target audience. Thanks!

  2. Of your three points, I like the last one the best. When we can provide a solution to a specific problem we’ve got the ability to serve and create income for ourselves. Works every time.

  3. Great ideas here. Networking has become very powerful for me as I meet more and more people who don’t live where I live but it turns out we can work together. And with skype and google hangout the connectivity issues are solved.

  4. I agree with the others that the third area (describe problems you can solve) is best. I find that telling people that I can help them negotiate often earns a blank stare. When I tell them I can help them negotiate a lease, recover overdue accounts receivable or help them decipher a contract, their eyes light up.

  5. I just attended a local speakers meetup group this week for the first time and wow! 52 new people from diverse business backgrounds. I made some great connections for possible speaking opportunities, learned cool SEO stuff from the speaker of the evening, and there was a LOT of interest in how I can help many of them with anxiety and fears around speaking in public!

  6. I prospect outside of my territory through social media and speaking engagements

  7. Whatever your business, there should be some aspect of it that permits you to offer something to anyone, anywhere.

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