There are two schools of thought on prospecting for customers. It may not matter so much which school you subscribe to. What matters is that you choose one and learn to apply your lessons effectively.
Some marketers go for quantity. They believe that the way to prospect for customers is simply to fill their marketing funnel with anybody and everybody and hope that something they are selling appeals to some of those people.
Other marketers go for quality. They believe that it is more productive to target and pre-qualify their prospective customers before they enter the sales funnel.
Whichever school you choose, it is advisable to market to those prospects in a respectable, responsible manner because your image and reputation as a marketer and business person is on the line. If you deluge your prospects with unwanted marketing messages, you risk upsetting them even before they've had a proper chance to check out your offers.
Image is important because selling another item to an existing customer is usually easier than persuading a new prospect to buy something.
When going for quantity, your aim is to reach as many people as you can as quick and economically as possible. This marketing method typically uses the direct approach.
Offline marketers use the traditional mail system to send flyers and other direct mail pieces to every residence in a particular location. In a similar way, online marketers use email and other message delivery systems that may be available on Social Media sites and membership sites.
The risk in marketing this way is that your message may be going to disinterested parties or worse yet, to people who are offended by unsolicited messages. Even so, some marketers believe that the risk is worth the promise of attracting a percentage of paying customers. They say that it is a "numbers game" and if you reach more people, you will make more sales.
When going for quality, on the other hand, your aim is to attract only those prospects who have a keen interest in the item or category of item being promoted.
Offline marketers may also use the traditional mail system and/or email marketing to send promotional materials and messages to prospects. The difference is that they pre-qualify the recipients in some way. This may involve purchasing a categorized mailing list or using a service or a method that pre-qualifies the interests of the prospective recipients.
The benefit of targeting customers in this way is that first, you know they will be interested, and second, chances are they will not be offended by the message: just as long as you do not flood them with messages and offers.
One other method of pre-qualifying your prospects is to do so through advertising. This can be used online or offline. You would post or print advertisements that appeal to your targeted prospects in a way that encourages or motivates them to visit your website or your sales page or email or call you by telephone for more information. This is effective because when a potential customer comes to you, you have a much better chance of making a sale.
When prospecting for customers, some marketers prefer quantity while others prefer quality. The choice is yours and whatever method you choose, aim to be a respectful marketer. It pays dividends in the long run.