by Nick Terrenzi
A very basic element in certainty is preparation, which is what provides you certainty in the first place.
Before you make the first contact in a sale, you must prepare by researching your prospect and finding out everything you can about them. You then further prepare by drilling your approach. These are the actions of any sales professional.
Another part of preparing for the initial contact is looking over the general industry. What do you see there? What are the trends? What is currently going on? What are people like your potential prospect feeling and saying right now?
Unfortunately, most of the time when salespeople pick up the phone or go off to meet someone, they’re not certain about what to do. And that is simply and only because they did not prepare.
It’s also true that 90 percent of the time when you do not reach a prospect you’re trying to call, it’s because you’re not certain of what you’re going to say or how you’re going to say it. And again, that is because you did not prepare.
One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen in initial prospect research is that the salesperson fails to discover things about the prospect that only the person who referred the prospect could tell them. What does the referring person know about that prospect? What does that prospect like? What don’t they like?
Preparation is part of any stage of the sales process. You always review prior steps, so you really know where you’re at in the sales process. Preparation is designed so that whatever step you’re doing in the process, you’re successful at it because you’re totally certain of what to do.
Using the Interview to Prepare
The first step of the sales process dealing with direct contact is the Contact and Interview step. Guess what? You should use the interview to find out what your prospect is thinking. What is their opinion on various things? What is causing their interest in your product or service, or causing their desire to change from a competitor’s product? What do they consider is happening in the industry?
In a broader sense, keeping track of the information you obtain in interviews will, if you let it, allow you to see actual trends. This provides a solid base of preparation for any sale within that industry.
It’s not just Boy Scouts that should “Be Prepared.” It’s salespeople, too!
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