A couple weeks ago I was sitting in the Boston Airport, waiting for my flight home and enjoying a clam chowder at one of my all-time favorite restaurants - Legals Seafood.
Nothing all that unusual, and in fact, this is normal for me to be in an airport. What was unusual though was a call a took from a potential new client. This is a prospect I’ve been pursuing for close to a year.
He asked me how well versed I was in their products and business and could I prove it? Interesting question, and it brings about a bigger question for you. How well prepared are you for life’s challenges and that next key engagement.
Are you doing all the work up front, the research, the physical preparation, mental and emotional preparation, and are you ready to prove it to others?
Now I can’t tell you what preparation you need to do in advance, because I don’t know what you’re going after. What I can tell you is how I prepared for this opportunity.
Before I ever picked up the phone, sent an email or an intro letter I researched this prospects business aggressively. I didn’t just look at their webpage. I looked into their financials, the differing markets, products, and economies they conduct business in.
I made a list of potential new markets they may or may not have been considering. I looked into those markets. I followed their company on LinkedIn. I followed the key players on twitter, and I found who we had in common on LinkedIn and arranged for introductions. Then I looked at their sales team members and how they managed and ran their sales process.
Once that was done, I also looked into their competitors for any advantages or disadvantages being exploited and/or ignored. The point is I was so thorough that I knew their business better than they did for the most part. Yet I hadn’t spoken to a single person about me or what I had to offer. I invested in myself preparing for the opportunity.
I’ll spare you the year of campaigning for their attention, and come full circle. When the Director of Sales asked me if I was prepared and could prove it, my response was simple: "Mark if I wasn’t prepared before I first contacted you then I should never have contacted you. Ask me anything about your business and I bet I can drill down better than anyone on your sales team.”
I won the business, and more importantly, made the client a cheerleader of Me even before I’ve conducted the first training series.
So I ask you again - how well are you preparing for life’s challenges and goals you set?
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