It doesn’t matter to them whether they’re working on a new client or just visiting an existing one, prior to the call, top professionals will do some basic homework.
Here are a few areas they’ll probably work on:
- Their company database. This can be full of interesting and vital information and is usually a good first stop.
- They will use the web. As simple as it may sound, it works and usually provides more information than can be used on 1, 2 or 3 calls. What you sell determines where you should navigate. The priority being the “About Us” page and the “Mission Statement.” Both should provide them with good hints.
- If there’s a “Personnel” or “Key Personnel” section on the web site, print it out. What may appear at first glance to be the least vital information, that may prove to be dynamite during the call, will be available there, as should be some information on the CEO.
- Googling the company could get you some really “juicy stuff” or you might unearth information about the company, its products, problems, challenges, lawsuits etc that might do you some good insight on who you’re dealing with.
- Type in your contact’s name. See if he or she has written something you can intelligently comment on, or maybe something about their life away from work that they’re really passionate about.
With proper research the top professional may just be luck enough to unearth some real selling treasure. It could be that their contact, Joan Smith that writes on Yellow Roses. You’ll never know until you read up. Your initial investment here may be a few minutes to a half an hour, and if it helps bring you closer to getting a sale, then it’s worth it.
The top professionals I know thrive on working this way, because they know research brings them results and saves them time in the long run. It’s unfortunate other levels within the selling field don’t think that way.
Professionals Put Themselves in their Prospects Position
Professional salespeople are aware that their canvassing does not start with an introductory phone call. In so many cases, that introductory phone call may be the last point of contact in a research overview that could have 2, 3, 4 , 5 or more steps.
They do this groundwork because they know it will give them an edge, and more importantly, they also understand that generally key people aren’t going to talk to them simply because they dialled the phone.
Professional salespeople go out of their way to put themselves in their prospect’s position (shoes), on the understanding that busy people generally won’t take time out from their schedule, just to listen to someone who’s probably doing little else than playing a “numbers game” at their expense.
Why should they. It’s not their concern if a low level seller wants to score a “brownie point” because they won’t do the hard work expected of them, or don’t want to know any better, or simply don’t want to take the trouble to learn a “better way.”
Top professionals take the time to do some homework, the extent of which will vary on the value of the call they are about to make But they won’t make the mistake of coming in “empty handed” in the fear they will not be able to customize their opening contact lines and related questions.
Top Professionals Know the Importance of Empathy
Professionals know that “Empathy” is like putting yourself into the prospect’s shoes and seeing the problem from their point of view, whereas “Sympathy” may be best described as seeing the other persons point of view from ones own understanding.
Another school of thought suggests Empathy is supposed to make you feel as they feel, whereas Sympathy is knowing how the other person feels, but not necessarily feeling the same way.
Top Professionals Don’t Use Empathy Like Others Do
However, professionals understand Empathy another way. They understand that if they were driving down the road on a cold, wet and miserable night, and they saw a man fixing a flat tyre by the roadside in the pouring rain, they would get out of the car in the pouring rain and help him replace the puncture. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? But that’s the reality of Empathy. Empathy is taking the harder way out – the easy way out is Sympathy. Empathy is the one factor that lets the sales professional stay in control and come up with the unexpected, and that is what is appreciated the most by the prospect.
The reason that so many professionally oriented and mentally determined salespeople tend to grow and in the process be likely to become to be resolutely superior to other sellers over the course of time, is because they have learned to persevere towards their life-time purpose ever so gently towards the direction of their inclusive goals and vivid dreams. However, what so many others in the pursuit of similar dreams don’t realise is that they don’t often expect overnight transformations. They in turn, patiently wait whenever they don’t see the results they are after immediately, and most importantly they don’t get discouraged. Thereafter they just keep on keeping, and as a hint you will never forget, if you want the same success, you must do the same.
Work on those Simple Questions – Be Blessed
Ask different questions. Start by asking questions that don’t include “Ahs” and “Ums.” It’s something that’s almost impossible to do when your questions aren’t prepared prior to the sales call. A clear indication what you’re asking isn’t a very good question, is when you ask a question and the prospect or customer responds “What do you mean?” The whole concept of asking fabulous open-ended questions is what good selling is all about. The better the question, the better the response will be.
This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 65 books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com