The other day I wrote about how you should NOT be preparing for your first sales calls.
This was a very freeing idea for many people.
For others though it seemed limiting.
Limiting probably because I used the word never.
Well perception is unique to each of us, and some people thought that perhaps I meant you should never ever prepare before contacting a prospect.
Preparing before contacting a prospect is an excellent habit to get into. I would say in many cases it is essential.
Reader Stephen Spear wrote me this email making this excellent point…
This week I was asked by a younger and less experienced rep with my company to help him access an account that he had been unable to crack. I went to the company website and found out that the company was in the midst of installing a new mobile-ordering system for their field sales reps, company-wide. I also learned that they had just purchased a 200,000 sq. ft. vacant warehouse at the intersection of two major Interstates.
"Not all that much, I admit, but it was something to talk about. When I called the contact, we just had a conversation. He was thrilled that (in his words) ‘I seemed to know so much about the company’. I got an appointment that I probably wouldn’t have gotten had I not prepared for the call.
A little bit of research can help you before making a prospecting call.
Once you get the appointment however, it is then that you are making that "First Sales Call" (which is different from prospecting) and that is when you want to go in and have a prospect focused conversation.
A conversation where you are asking the questions, where you are directing the flow of the conversation, where you are asking questions and listening 70-80% of the time, and talking very little.
Such a conversation requires little to no preparation, once you understand the reasons why people purchase from you and you turn those reasons into questions that you can ask on-the-fly in any selling situation.
Coming to understand why your prospects purchase from you, and creating those questions is sort of a do-it-once type of preparation.
This is much, much more powerful than preparing to talk about "why people do business with our company" before each sales call.
Powerful because you find out the customer’s motivation for doing business.
And that is the only motivation that will drive a sale.
So I do recommend that you prepare for your prospecting calls with "research". But don’t waste time preparing a pitch. Have your questions ready instead, and you’ll get to the heart of the deal much faster.
Sell with Pride,
Shameless Shamus Brown
P.S. Do you know how to find out the Real Reasons Why your prospects are talking to you and use that to get them to want to do biz with YOU (It aint because they want your widget)? Discover how to find the power that drives every deal.