Sales Training – Cold Calling is for Dummies
Cold Calling is for Dummies
How prepared do you think you need to be before you call on a prospect? Do you think it is OK to just arrive unprepared and ask them to tell you about their business? There is no easier way to turn a prospect away than arriving unprepared, not knowing anything about them or their business. We live in the age of information, so it is really easy to get buckets of information about your prospects. You need to be prepared for your meeting by first visiting their website printing out a few strategic pages, reading and making a few notes about their business.
This will give you some background on your prospect and allow you to seem prepared and knowledgeable. I am assuming the obvious here; in that you are crystal clear on your value proposition and that you have carefully selected your prospects, by ensuring that they need what you have to sell, before identifying them as ideal prospects.
Here is where you can ask the third dumbest question when approaching a prospect, namely “Can you tell me a little about your business”. You should have done your homework so well before approaching any prospect that, you know they are a perfect fit for your product or service and you must know enough about their business to tell them how your value proposition will completely satisfy their needs. The second dumbest question any sales person can ask a prospect is “Do you want to hear about my business”? Your prospects are not interested in your business; all they want to hear is what’s in it for them. I will tell you about the dumbest question any sales person can ask a prospect a little later on in this article.
Researching your Prospects
Action Idea: You can research your prospects by searching on Google, LinkedIn and even Facebook. All of these are great sources of information on the people who you will be dealing with at any business you wish to prospect. Another great source of information is the sales team at your prospects business. They are always very willing to share and offer very useful information, which will serve you when approaching any prospect.
When researching the company, don’t just explore their site, enter the company name on Google and other search engines like dogpile.com and see what comes up. There are numerous articles written about companies, which are a great source of information, which does not appear on their website.
Explore any literature you can get your hands on about the company. This will give you an insight into what they think about their company and their products.
Try to contact some of their existing vendors and speak to them and try to get information on what it is like to do business with your prospect. Try to get any information, which will help you to showcase your value proposition.
Make contact with their competition and try to find out any information they are willing to share about your prospect. You may get plenty of dirt on them, but always remember the more their competitors speak badly of them, the more likely they are really good at what they do. Competitors hate people who regularly take business away from them.
Try to connect with some of their customers, if possible, they will give you some insight into delivery, organisation, quality and some other subtle information, which will serve you and give you a competitive advantage.
Explore your own networks and see who you know, who does business with them or is connected to someone at the company. A well written email to your inner circle requesting information, will always give you some really great information, which will most certainly serve you.
The Dumbest Thing Sales People do
Proper preparation is time consuming, but nothing impresses a prospect more than a well prepared sales professional. They very quickly see that you know what you are talking about and begin to like and trust you. Two crucial elements in the sales process.
This brings me to the dumbest thing many sales people do. They make the mistake, preparing their own PowerPoint presentation, having samples ready, a pocket full of business cards, you know the same thing your competitor did previously when they tried to get the prospect to buy their products. They fail to prepare properly and so they appear unprepared an unprofessional.
When I am talking about preparation here, I am not just talking about researching your prospects business and the people you are trying to sell to. I am also referring to your own personal preparation, to become a top sales professional. You need to invest time every day into your personal growth. Remember you can only coast in one direction and that is downhill.
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