This article is part of my notebook on how to run a business. I am just writing what I have learnt and also implementing in my business.
When I started out in sales, I used to go and meet a prospect without really knowing what I was going to say. This does sound strange but this is exactly how most salespeople approach their sales pitches. They just wing it at the moment and will say whatever happens to fall on their mouth when they meet the prospect. This is not for you.
Review everything before you go to see a prospect
By reviewing everything, I literally mean everything that you have access to concerning the client. The time we are living in allows us to have a lot of information concerning our prospect in their individual capacity and also at the company level. The internet has basically democratised access to information. A simple Google Search will yield details about your prospect which will make you look like a superstar in your sales pitch. Some of the sources that I use for my research are the following;
The Company Website
This is usually a great place to start (although some company websites are mere graveyards due to old content that is no longer up to date). A website will give you the information that you will need in order to tailor the presentation of your service or product. A website can also be a source of learning the culture of the company and determining what is really important to the client.
Linkedin is a professional platform that allows its users to post their current responsibilities, career history and the companies that they have worked for among other things. I use Linkedin to determine anything from the intellectual capacity of my prospect of researching the type of content that I can include in my presentation.
In a way, my presentations are always customised to my prospects. This makes the presentation to be relevant and also meaningful.
Facebook and Whatsapp
Facebook is a social network. I use Facebook to research companies and also their representatives whom I will be meeting. It is always a great idea to know your prospect’s values and to respect them during the sales pitch. For example, if they appear to support a soccer team that is currently having a losing streak, maybe it is not a good idea to joke about it. Be always careful when talking about issues of race, culture, religion and beliefs.
A Whatsapp profile picture and status can be an eye-opener to what your prospect values. Be on the lookout for recent success, birthdays, vacations and anniversaries.
Review everything about the sale
I recommend that you follow the following steps in your research.
- Pre-Pitch Research – Gather everything that you need for the pitch. This includes your product knowledge and how the product can help the prospect.
- Pre-Pitch Objective – Do not go to a sales pitch without knowing exactly what you expect from the prospect. Are you going to ask for a sale after this pitch or after the clients reviews your materials? Does your prospect have the power to make a buying decision? If not, how are you going to work around that?
- Post Pitch Analysist – Just after your pitch, make a habit of writing down everything that came up during the pitch. Avoid procrastinating on this because it is easy to forget.
A well-prepared sales pitch makes you appear intelligent, knowledgeable and trustworthy to your prospect. This obviuosly increases the chance of the prospect buying from you.