Prepare to win, or lose to someone who is.
What differentiates a dumb cold call from a Smart Call is, first, what you learn about a prospect and his situation. We can modify the old saying, “It’s all about who you know” to “It’s all about WHAT you know, about who you want to know, in order to actually get to know them.”
But it’s not just about information. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote attributed to Sir Francis Bacon: “Knowledge is power.” However, with respect to Sir Francis, knowledge is not power. To quote Calvin Coolidge, “There are lots of educated derelicts.”
The power comes in how you use this knowledge, which we will discuss later in the book. In this chapter, we’ll cover intelligence gathering: what you want to learn and, then, where to find it.
The intelligence you seek depends on what you sell and why someone would buy. Simpler sales—those that are more transactional and have a shorter sales cycle, such as an ad in the community magazine—are not likely to warrant as much time as a seven-figure sale for consulting services to a Fortune 100 company. However, the same processes and techniques can be used in both situations.
In general, you are looking for factual data as well as situational information. Facts include basic statistics, such as how many locations or number of employees the company has, their financial results, and, as obvious as this ...