What separates the real persuasion professional from the amateur is the quality of their planning and preparation. Amateurs blunder into sales calls without having planned and prepared correctly.
One of the vital things to consider is: How well do you know your customer / potential customer? Some things to find out before you visit are: Financial information (turnover, shareholders etc) Key personnel (board of directors, senior managers, buyers), Management structure, Number of employees, Details of their brands, products, services, Major competitors, Current suppliers, and Recent press exposure.
How much time and effort you devote to this research will depend upon how potentially important this company could be to you.
The Internet gives easy and fast access to information in a few minutes (try a Google search on the company for example). A visit to your local business library can also be a useful investment of times. You will find a host of business directories that you can use for research purposes.
A common approach from sales people is “Tell me about your company”. I recently met the Managing Director of a large organization who told me that when salespeople ask him that question he replies “No—you tell me about my company!”
Could you answer that question?
Simon Hazeldine is the bestselling author of four business books that have been endorsed by famous business leaders including Duncan Bannatyne from BBC TV’s ‘Dragon’s Den’ and multi-billionaire founder and CEO of Dell Computers, Michael Dell.
Simon is in demand as a keynote speaker; performance consultant and facilitator in the areas of leadership, organisational performance and sales force effectiveness. He has a Masters Degree in the Psychology of Performance and extensive international business experience.
For more valuable information on leadership, sales, negotiation and persuasion including sample chapters from Simon Hazeldine’s bestselling books please visit http://www.simonhazeldine.com
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+