February 17, 2012 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, negotiating, Sales meeting ideas
Nothing turns a prospect off faster than an ill-prepared salesperson making a first call. Prospects respect a salesperson who shows genuine interest in their business and takes steps to understand it before even trying to get an appointment.
Before the call
Try to find out as much as possible about the prospect before even scheduling an appointment.
Here are some tips that will help:
- Start with good research and analysis. Learn what the prospect does and their objectives. Such research can come from web searches, annual reports, people who work at the prospect’s company, press articles and your own company records.
- Discover what your prospects need and want. Be proactive in looking for problems. Ask questions to find out where prospects “hurt” prior to your meeting.
- Analyze the prospect’s business? Why does the prospect need your product or service? When and how often might the prospect use your product or service?
- Be aware of what makes your product or service different from competitors’. Be prepared to demonstrate the difference early in your call.
- Stay up to changes in your field. If you’re not learning every day, your competition is. New information is essential to attract new customers. How much time are you spending each day learning something new? How will you use this information to prospect more successfully?
- Try to anticipate the difficult problems a prospect may raise during the first call. Attack the toughest problems first. Dealing effectively with difficult problems is the best way to spark a prospect’s interest during a first call.
Adapted from the book Clients, Clients, More Clients by Larina Kase, a behavioral psychologist and marketing consultant.