Three Things to Know About a Prospect Prior to Picking Up the Phone
If I was only allowed to teach a print salesperson one thing, it would be the skill of precall prospect research. Your ability to finish the sentence that starts, "The purpose of my call is..." with something of value and interest (and even intrigue!) determines everything from how good a voicemail you can leave, how motivated you are to even make the call in the first place, and of course, your chances of landing an appointment.
The other option sounds like this: "Hi, my name is Bill. I sell printing. Do you have anything I can quote on?"
Good luck with that one.
Instead, you need to do a little work before you can approach the prospect. Looking at their Website (at bare minimum), you need to know three things:
- Basic information: Industry, main phone number, location
- A business need/issue: rather than "I want to talk with you about your print needs."
- One key contact
#2 is the important one.
For example, you read that the company is launching a new product at an upcoming trade show (it’s right there in their press releases link). By finding the name of the Product Manager, you are able to call and seek an appointment for the purpose of discussing how you can help to make that show a success.
More thorough research can uncover different options and different people to call on within the organization. You would also want to double down on your research prior to showing up for that first sales appointment.
But for now, all you need to do is the bare minimum so that you are not "selling printing."
Armed with these three pieces of information, you have a great chance of finding someone to approach with your solution. You will make a high-value, high-quality prospecting call. You will get more appointments, better appointments, and make more sales. You will lose weight, your hair will grow back, and your baseball team will win the World Series (unless you are a Cubs fan).*