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A lot of advice addresses how to close the deal with a prospect.
And while that’s important, there’s one crucial piece of the equation often omitted. Before you can close, you need to build a rock-solid relationship. In other words, if you can’t get a prospect to talk to you then you won’t have a deal to close. And it’s hard to establish credibility when you are cold calling a new prospect, which is why we recommend sourcing a valid business reason (VBR) before reaching out.
3 Ways to Cultivate a Valid Business Reason
A valid business reason explains why your prospect should be interested in meeting with you, and it should always contain these three elements – An understanding of your prospect’s needs; Knowledge about their business, competitors and industry; A solution that can help them manage their specific challenge/s.
If you can demonstrate these three things, you are much more likely to open the door to a new business relationship. Let’s look at three ways you can cultivate a solid VBR.
1. Do your homework
Researching a potential prospect before you contact them is a no brainer. No two people are the same so you should always personalise your approach and tailor your proposal. The most obvious first step is to look at their company website to gain basic company information. But to really build credibility and tell your prospect something new, we suggest sourcing in-depth information about their competitors, their industry and macro decisions that may impact their bottom line. This can include insights such as mergers and acquisitions, recent people moves, past & future marketing activity, growth activity, financial results, annual business reports and new product launches. Our sales enablement products provide just this type of data and have made over $1bn for our clients, so feel free to get in touch if you’d like to learn more.
You may also find this sales preparation checklist useful.
2. Make it about them
Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a sales pitch and let’s face it, your prospect doesn’t really care what company you work for. They care about how you’re going to help them solve their problems. So when you reach out, you should demonstrate that you understand a challenge they face and that you have a solution that could help them fix it. To provide value during the conversation, focus on positioning yourself as a trusted resource.
Most salespeople spend too much time talking when they first meet a prospect. They bombard them with questions and don’t really take the time to listen to their prospect’s answers. When you meet a prospect, don’t interrupt – let them do the majority of the talking. By letting them explain their problems, you’ll understand their position and be able to present highly refined solutions.
You initial interactions with a new prospect are critical because you don’t have a lot of time to “wow” them. Finding the right way to reach out will help you gain their trust, provide value and establish an ongoing relationship. Approaching your prospect with a VBR will make them much more receptive to your efforts to connect. But it’s hard for the average salesperson to find the time to research their prospects and come up with valid business reasons. This is why IRD will find them for you. Imagine how much easier your life would be if you started your day already armed with a list of business opportunities. This is exactly what you get with IRD’s Prospector. We not only provide future-dated, embryonic B2B opportunities but we source contact details for each.
That way you can recognize potential sales triggers and go into your sales meetings informed. For five free, tailored sales leads, simply fill in this form.
About the Author
CEO and Managing Director, IRD Group (Information Resource Development)
With more than 20 years in the industry, Matt is responsible for the vision and operation of the IRD group. What gets Matt out of bed? The knowledge that IRD is empowering and motivating our subscribers, and genuinely contributing to their commercial success.