The questions every salesperson should know the answer to
How often have you been asked by a client on a call or within a meeting “so what do you know about us?” and if you have ever been caught out by this because you haven’t researched your client you will know that you suddenly have an uphill task ahead of you to turn that meeting around.
It is a common question that comes up almost every time you speak to a prospect or a client for the first time, so why do so many prospects ask us this question?
Well firstly it’s a completely legitimate question to ask when you consider how easy it is to access information about our clients, but it goes deeper than this, it’s an easy way for a prospect to put an early marker out to establish how well prepared you are for the meeting and how seriously you have taken this meeting and after all why should they be interested in you if you are not interested in them?
There’s a huge benefit to you by carrying out some thorough research of the client
When I am preparing for a meeting I always go through a similar process for uncovering the information I need but without fail this process always identifies something that shapes my discussion slightly differently, this allows me to be able to structure my meeting in a way that not only demonstrates that I have carried out some research about the company but it also allows me to drill down on an element that will be of use to me when identifying what might be important to the client and allow me to select a group of questions that will allow me to uncover the information I need.
So what do prospects expect you to know about their business?
The background of the person or people you are meeting
This is one of the easiest pieces of information to obtain, if you have a LinkedIn account then this is simplicity itself, if you don’t (how are you surviving without one) there are still ways of searching the web to discover some basic information about the person or people you are meeting.
The basics I would be looking to understand would be things like how long they have been with the company and who they have worked for before.
What the business does and the markets they operate within
Again a really easy one by simply spending a few minutes before the meeting going through the client’s website, most websites now have all this information easily accessible.
If you can find out the type of clients they work with
Not quite as easy this one, but some sites will display this information via case studies or the who we work with section, but alternatively you can do a simple search via the web to discover press releases and announcements, if you can find this information you can structure your questions and qualification process around this information to establish more relevant information about the client.
News and recent relevant developments about the business
Most sites will have a news section to announce important news and developments, this is the real gold you need to uncover, I have lost count of the times that this element of research has won me the deal by being able to identify an opportunity or discover a potential issue they are trying to solve so that I can demonstrate the value in my solution.
What’s their feedback like?
This can be another good area to research but be careful, if the feedback isn’t great be careful how you bring this into the conversation, but again this could demonstrate an area of opportunity and if you structure your meeting plan well and select the right questions this can be brought in successfully and allow you another great piece of information.
The key to successfully using this is discipline, if you adapt this process every time you have a prospect or client meeting you will see that you will certainly have more productive and successful meetings but you will never be caught out by the “what do you know about us question?”
Until next time have a successful week