Jason really wanted to impress both his sales manager and his prospect with how prepared he was for the first call of his sales career. He had all his literature organized and had armed himself with all of the background info he researched on the prospect's website. He felt good, except that after reviewing the website data, he really didn't know what
he had to offer. According to the site, the prospect's company was doing great and already had all the best vendors as partners. Nothing on-line indicated a pressing need for much of anything that Jason could provide. So, on his very first sales call of his very first job, Jason really had no idea what to do other than start talking about his company and their products.
Doing research online is a good tactic, but rarely offers much that is specific enough about any company's challenges or problems that might be usable on a sales call. After all, why would a firm air dirty laundry or publicize struggles they were experiencing with anyone who might click a link and visit their site? Jason had great experience utilizing the web to gather general information, but he over-estimated what secret nuggets might be found from deep diving into his prospect's site. According to this same site, things were better than ever, which didn't leave much for Jason to do other than throw stuff at the wall and hope something would stick.
Real opportunities are found by understanding the business process a prospective client lives with day in and day out. Knowing about the industry as a whole could have provided Jason with more information about what to explore on his initial call. Using website data to speculate about problems or issues can be too assumptive. A better way to find out where you might create value is to find out what the client thinks of your targets and see where they might be able to improve performance. Industry-based sites that talk about challenges all people in that business are dealing with might provide better insights. Looking for a company to tell you about their warts on their own website might only lead to false starts and dead ends. Better that it comes directly from the horse's mouth.
As you think about the prospects, or maybe even suspects, in your pipeline have you spent too much time researching any of them?
What is your best experience with having little research done? Can you think of a situation where having done too much research as impeded your progress?
Final Thought for the Morning:
"You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever." ~ Ernest Cline
"With a library, it is easier to hope for serendipity than to look for a precise answer." ~ Lemony Snicket
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
LAST WEEK: Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
THIS WEEK: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.