Making a Sales call- the importance of research, common sense and story telling

Have you been on the receiving end of a Sales call where you know that the rep is from a company that plays in the same market space as yours? This has quickly become one of my biggest pet peeves. Here are a three important things that every sales person must do before making that call to a prospect, lead or contact:

1. Research: Visit the company website. Arm yourself with basic information about the company- what do they do, how big are they, how long have they been around, who are their immediate competitors, has there been any interesting news about them in recent times? Look up the contact on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

2. Common Sense: I was tempted to couple this with research but I do believe this deserves to be mentioned separately. While researching the company and the contact- stop and think. Are you following up to a specific conversation or is this a cold call? If it is the latter- then consider if this company is a potential competitor, potential partner or potential customer. What is the purpose of your call to this contact? Why would they be interested in talking to you? If you’re just going through a list of leads with the same script- then you’re most likely wasting your time and theirs.

3. Story Telling: It is completely okay to call me even if you play in the big data analytics or the BI space. However I am not and cannot be a regular sales call. If there is a specific reason I should take the time to talk to you- then be prepared with a compelling story ahead of time. If you are calling a more promising prospect- then of course- the importance of your story cannot be over emphasized. Remember that you story must be malleable to fit their needs. Don’t forget to listen for the needs before starting the pitching. Nobody likes a pushy sales person.

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