In business to business sales, your prospective customers probably receive hundreds of marketing calls a day. There’s a good chance that many of those calls relate to products similar to your own and even if they don’t, all of you are competing for the same budget. Now, it may hurt to hear this but more often than not, you’re just a widget-pusher to them. The moment your prospect realizes this is yet another sales call, he/she switches off or worse, goes on the defense. Telling them that you are different – because your widget is blue while 90% of the market widgets are red – won’t land you that meeting unless they’re hankering for something blue.
So what do you do to gain their attention?
Invest in research!
By leveraging your industry knowledge, you can become a trusted advisor to your prospect. Think of it this way, if you don’t care enough to understand the challenges of your prospect’s industry, how can you possibly know what they need and how your product meets their needs?
So when preparing for business to business meetings, instead of preparing a presentation on how amazing your widget is, allocate resources to a researcher or analyst with your client’s industry expertise. If you don’t have budget to invest, here’s where to look for ideas:
- Read industry trade websites and aggregate the biggest industry trends.
- Look at specialist research sources, such as Forrester or McKinsey, to find industry-related data or publications.
- Look at consumer buying trends that might impact your prospect’s business, such as IPSOS Mori or IDC.
- Set up Google alerts and RSS feeds on the topic areas to get all the latest in your inbox.
Whenever conducting research, always go to the source. For example, if you read something in the WSJ about a market trend, go to the source that WSJ quoted. Not only does this verify the information is correct, this approach may also yield other insights.
To secure business to business sales meetings, position yourself as an advisor and start thinking how you can provide valuable insight to prospective clients, and watch how you easily you begin to secure those meetings.
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