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Friday, September 14, 2012

You’d Better Do Your Homework BY JILL KONRATH SEPTEMBER 13, 2012

                                

Have you noticed these days how many prospects have a whole lot of knowledge regarding what you’re selling before you even open your mouth? There’s a good reason for it: They’ve been online doing their homework on you. Prior to your meeting, they have conducted research on your company. They know about your products and services, and they know about your competitor’s. They may even have learned a good deal about you personally.

If you want to have a good meeting with these savvy people, you have to be sharp. They have no tolerance for sellers who simply want to pitch their stuff. They want an intelligent conversation centered on their key business challenges and needs. They have done their homework on you, and they expect you to have done your own homework on them.

They expect that you will have thoughtful questions about their objectives, challenges and initiatives. In simple terms, the Internet has raised the bar for sales professionals. If you’ve been selling for a long time and haven’t changed what you’re doing, you’re on your way to extinction. Seriously. You will find yourself working harder and harder with diminishing returns. If you’re new to selling but are listening to all that old, outdated advice about the importance of having a good pitch, you, too, could be in trouble.

Today’s customers want to deal with savvy, educated sellers—people just like them.

Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.

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