If you have been in sales for any length of time you know you need to establish creditability with a prospect early on in the sales process. This is a common principle taught in most sales development training. Establishing creditability earns you the right to move forward in the sales process. If you try to move forward before you have established creditability, you are probably wasting your time because your prospect is not going to value any solution you bring to them.
To establish credibility you have to show that you have the prospect’s best interest in mind. The best way to demonstrate that you have the prospects best interest in mind is: first do some pre-sale research and then when you meet with your prospect ask questions that focus on their challenges and issues.
Pre-sale research is necessary to first of all determine if you even have a potential prospect. When you do pre-sale research here are some of the things you want to find out:
- The history of the company
- Who are the key management people
- What are their main products and services
- Who are their customers
- What are the industry trends
- What challenges face the industry
- Who is their main competition
- Who do they currently use for the products or services you sell
There are more things you could find out, but this should get you started.
Use the pre-sale research information when you meet with your prospect to demonstrate that you care enough about them to find out information before you met with them. You want to say something like “in preparation for our meeting I was doing some research about your industry and found out one of the challenges is……..How are you dealing with this challenge?” Do you see how that will separate you from the 10 other sales people calling on the prospect?
Next time we will look at how to ask questions to establish creditability.