Immerse Yourself in the Right Information

Immerse Yourself in the Right Information

Inc Magazine features a slideshow on 4 mistakes Young Salespeople Make.  Here is the caption for the picture above:

They immerse themselves in the wrong information.

Some neophytes spend all of their time studying up on their products. Knowing the details of what you are selling is obviously crucial, but don’t forget to do some basic research about the prospect, too. Being able to draw on specific information about a sales lead is the most effective way to get his or her attention. “A salesperson should have something to refer to that the prospect has actually said or done,” says Hoffman. He recommends reading anything the prospect has posted online, and even citing snippets of things they’ve said or written in the past during a presentation. “Most people are primarily interested in themselves,” says Hoffman. “So let’s talk about the topic you care about, which is you.”

My team at ExactTarget has been preparing for a significant meeting with a prospect that will take place later this week.  It’s interesting to note our preparation in comparison to the above advice.  We have read everything we can get our hands on with regard to the client’s business: its press releases, articles in various magazines, video interviews with their founder, and blog posts.  We purchased their service to get first hand experience.  And we pulled quotes from these sources to integrate into the presentation.  In the end, we will have spent 80% of our time researching the client’s business and 20% of our time preparing to speak to our product.

The results, we believe, will make us far more engaging to the client because we will be relevant to the client’s business.  And if we find out we are wrong about halfway through the meeting, then maybe we’ll ask him if he is into fishing.