Research a Prospect Online Before an Appointment

Posted by David Chism | Fri, Sep 10, 2010

When your com­pa­ny receives a request for an esti­mate, there is one very impor­tant step your sales­per­son should take before going out to the prospects home or busi­ness. He (or she) should type their prospec­t’s name into Google and do a lit­tle research. The sales­per­son should dis­cov­er as much as pos­si­ble about his prospect such as: occu­pa­tion, com­pa­ny, hob­bies, con­tri­bu­tions, edu­ca­tion and more. When the sales­per­son arrives at his appoint­ment he will then have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of how to begin and lead the sales process. A num­ber of years ago, while work­ing at Chism Broth­ers Paint­ing, I researched a new prospects name on Linkedin and Google. I dis­cov­ered that this home­own­er had been the for­mer CEO of sev­er­al well known nation­wide com­pa­nies. I found out a lot of infor­ma­tion about this prospect before ever meet­ing him. I then began to rehearse how the sales appoint­ment would look like. When I met the own­er, I did not men­tion my dis­cov­er­ies until 34 of the way through our walk­through of his home. Once I got to know him a bit more, I began to talk about his suc­cess as a busi­ness­man. I’ll nev­er for­get his response when I asked him a few ques­tions about his work at his for­mer com­pa­nies. First he perked up and sound­ed excit­ed to talk about him­self. He then said, How did you know I worked for there?” His wife heard the ques­tion and respond­ed, He prob­a­bly googled you!” After that, he began telling me a lot about run­ning a suc­cess­ful busi­ness and looked at me almost as some­one he could men­tor. I also got the job, which turned into about $100,000 of repaint­ing work. There was such a change in our con­ver­sa­tion after I start­ed talk­ing about him. One final tip” about research­ing a client. Use good judge­ment when talk­ing to a prospect about some of the things you dis­cov­er about them online. Make sure it is the right tim­ing when you bring things up and if it is rel­e­vant. Using the Inter­net can be one of the most pow­er­ful tools you have as a salesperson.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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