Monday, March 26, 2012

Invest 5 Minutes and Make a Better First Call on Prospects

There are three critical pieces of information you should know before you meet a prospect face-to-face for the first time. Most of the time you can collect this information in 5 minutes or less. Simply Google the prospect's name or search for them using LinkedIn.

The three things you want to know are:
  1. What is their exact title? Knowing a title gives you insights about a person's goals, responsibilities and the kind of problems they want to solve. Titles offer clues as to how much authority the person has, and whether or not they are the purchasing decision-maker.
  2. What do you have in common? Do you have the same alma mater, know the same people, or belong to the same organization? By finding a commonality, you jump-start relationship-building.
  3. What is their history? Have they changed jobs three times in five years, or had a rapid progression inside their company? This could signal ambition and ambitious people are agents of change and open to new ideas from salespeople. Did they formerly work at a company where you have contacts? This gives you the opportunity to drop names and build on existing relationships.
Taking the time to do this research makes first calls to new prospects go better, and helps you sell more.

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