You have a choice to make in your sales approach. There are many research and internet tools readily available for you to learn about the person you are calling and the company they work for. I think it’s fair to say that you should look at all those materials and learn what you can—this is honorable and respectful. It’s also a good first beginning to “earning the right” with your prospect.
However, I do not agree with a salesperson’s attempt to use that information to create an environment of warmth and closeness on the first call to the prospect. You do not know this person and whatever critical issues, challenges, struggles, or opportunities they might be dealing with. There is nothing worse than attempting to be specific when all it does is generalize and stereotype you as the caller/salesperson.
Today, I received this phone call, “I see that you won an award with SmartCEO for growth. Congratulations! I am calling all of the winners today to tell them about our new widget.”
I think it’s in good taste to do your homework. One might even consider this a compliment. However, to grab a fact and throw it out there and then to go right into your product pitch? Well, this just does not work today. This is not knowledge of me and my issues; this is a worthless attempt on the caller’s behalf to feel better about picking up the phone. This is nothing but fake warmth.
I much prefer the honest attempt at relationship building and prospecting. For example, a better approach would have been, “Chris, I see that your companies have achieved some growth awards. Congratulations! I am_______ from _______ and the purpose of my call was to ask if we might schedule twenty minutes in the next few days where I could share a little bit about myself and the organization I represent.”
At Outside-In® Companies, we create talent solutions for growth companies. However, I need to earn the right and learn more about you and your organization. We have a great story to share and from there we can determine if it is appropriate for you to share more about your business!
Be honest and direct with your purpose. Be careful about pretending to know your target or their business. It only takes one question to undo this shallow preparation. With most people, you lose before you even get started. Don’t be a sales stereotype when you sell. You would be surprised how hard it is stop the things we know don’t work!
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