Before you reach out to potential customers, you need to make sure you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. If you can’t convince your prospects that you know what you’re talking about, then chances are that they’re not going to buy from you.
Don’t panic though, because we’ve put together this handy checklist of information to gather before you pick up the phone!
To a potential customer, you are the face of your organisation. Not only will they judge your organisation based on your actions, but if there’s anything they want to know about it, they’ll expect you to be able to explain it.
Here are some aspects to make sure you’re familiar with:
- The history of the organisation, and key events such as mergers with other companies
- The organisation’s size, market share and reputation within the industry
- The names and backgrounds of senior executives
- The distinct values and principles which define the organisation, and guide its direction
Of course, you’re not going to have much luck selling if you don’t know your products inside out! Maintaining an encyclopaedic knowledge of your offerings is essential, because if you don’t know something about them, then your customer certainly won’t.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to burn into your memory:
- The specifications of your products, and what they mean
- How your products compare to one another, which are premium models, and which products pair together nicely
- The prices of all of your products, as well as your LIM numbers for negotiations.
- Case studies of similar customers, to show exactly what benefits your products can offer a prospect
As much as you might dream of a world where you’re the only option for your customers, the reality is that you have competition. Your customers will be shopping around for the best deal to suit them, so it’s essential to know what else is on offer!
Here are some things to check up on:
- The strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
- Any key selling points which set you apart from the rest of the industry
- The pricing of your competitors, and how it compares to your products
- How your industry is evolving, and what this might mean for you and your customers
Let’s not forget the customers themselves! In today’s world, researching a customer is easier than ever, but the drawback is that they will expect you to have done it properly. They won’t want to waste their time explaining their company to you, so you need to find out as much as you can by yourself.
Here are some things to seek out:
- A brief history of their organisation
- A good understanding of their industry and product offering
- Are they already with one of your competitors?
- Which of your products will interest them most, and what benefits will they gain by buying them? (Here is where your case studies will come in handy!)
Gather together all of this information and you’ll have everything you need to deal with any question sent your way!