In part I of this article, we covered how to deﬁne a qualiﬁed prospect in business technology and create a prospect list. Once you’ve completed your prospect list, you need to research that company, so that you can swiftly add some relevant information into your “prospecting talk track.” Doing so will help you build a short, persuasive argument as to why they should stop their business day to meet with you—AKA the pitch.
Researching should be accomplished in no more than three minutes, and speeding up your research is a learned and practiced discipline. It is imperative for a sales executive to develop a “quick research speed” so that they can complete 30 prospecting touches a day—every work day—to gain enough net new meetings, take down their competition, and more importantly, have a successful sales career.
When gathering information about your prospect, you can begin by looking at their company’s website and LinkedIn proﬁle. Check the Mission Statement and look for the variety of product line. For example, if it’s a law ﬁrm, count the practice areas; a church, count their missions; a manufacturer, count the product categories and industries they serve, etc. Look at the ‘contact us’ page to see if they have more than one location.
Review their LinkedIn proﬁle summary so that you can use some of that verbiage back at them. For example, a technology executive might write “promoting new technology to grow business,” or bullet “Operational Eﬃciencies, Cost Reduction” in their experience section. You can use these phrases in your pitch and/or when in front of the prospect in your net new meeting. See if any past employers are a current customer and/or a 1st level connection that you may have in common. Find other executive oﬃcers’ names at the company. For example, check who is the CFO and the COO, etc. This will allow you to ask the question, “Will John Bellows and Craig Anderson also be involved,” rather than vaguely asking, “Who else will be involved in the decision making?”
Finally, use a search engine to look for articles or recent news about the company, as well as their executives. Refer to this research to get the meeting, and once you have a meeting, you’ll appear informed about aspects of their company.
In the third and ﬁnal installment of this article, we’ll go over how to craft an eﬀective pitch to use when meeting with your prospects.