Research a Prospect Online Before an Appointment

Posted by | September 10, 2010 | Small Biz Talk | No Comments

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 3/4 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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