In our last blog, we saw how you can leverage social networks to identify and contact C-Level decision makers in your prospective companies. You saw a few techniques on how you can leverage LinkedIn to establish an initial contact and thereon continue the dialogue over your prospect’s business email.
Let us now try and understand what you need to do once your prospect is ready to hear your proposition. One of the most common mistakes that sales professionals commit is to try and make every sales call the same. We must realize that your prospects may be similar, but are not the same. Hence every sales call you make needs to be different and tailor-made to the individual needs of your prospect. The end objective of any sales call is to propose a solution that the prospect wants, but not the one that you have.
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Follow these simple steps to make your sales call a worthy one.
Know Your Prospect
One of the key steps in sales prospecting is to gather as much information as possible about your prospect. You need to get a 360 degree view of your prospect, the industry they operate in, their target customers, their possible business challenges, their growth plans and so on. By being well informed of the prospect, you have better chances of having the prospect hear you better. A few places where you can find some information about your prospects are being presented below. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good starting point, for sure.
Research The Company
Company website – You need to understand your prospect’s line of business, what is their business objective, what could be their biggest challenge and what is their value proposition to their customers, and how you will contribute in helping them achieve their business goals.
Examine who their customers are, what problem of their customers are your prospects trying to address, and how can you help them in solving those problems. By having all this handy, your sales call will turn out to be more of a requirements gathering meeting than a typical pitching.
Research the Professional Side of the Decision Maker
LinkedIn profiles – One of the key forums that sales professionals need to leverage in a B2B prospecting framework is LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile will tell you what kind of a person your prospect is. Read through the profile. Observe the groups subscribed to; read the discussions where you see some participation, see if you have some common connections who can write a nice line about you even before the meeting. Examine if your prospect is asking questions pertaining to some challenge and if you can solve that challenge. All these small things make you more familiar to your prospect even before the call. You would have figured out your call opening statement.
Research the Personal Side of the Decision Maker
Blogs– Sales prospecting can be more meaningful when you also know what kind of a person your prospect is. If your prospect is a blogger, it is worth spending time reading through those blogs. The choice of words will give you an idea on how you should moderate the call with your prospect. If the content is extremely professional and brief to the point, you should adopt the same strategy during your call / meeting. If you find liberal dosages of humour, you can adopt a more friendly approach. A nice way to start the conversation would be to congratulate your prospect for a recent achievement.
The Smart Way
We have a fantastic prospect research tool – eGrabber eMail Prospector – that will get you the business information about any prospect from any nook and corner of the Internet. The best part about this is it can get you the business email addresses and phone of the prospect in a jiffy. This means your time to research and search for information about your prospect is significantly cut down and you have more time to focus on preparing for every call.
In a nutshell, research well, talk to your prospect in his language and make “prospect research” a part of your working style. Believe me, your prospects will enjoy talking to you and your sales become a cake walk.