“It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Started Building The Ark.” Howard Ruff
For the document that helped one legal firm secure business worth more than £100,000 a year and beat 67 competitors you just have to get it here.
We all know that the motto of the scouts is “Be Prepared!”
So if the value of being prepared is known by a millions of children, how come so many Lawyers who want to sell forget about it?
Let’s face it. Prospects don’t have the time, energy or inclination to tell you about their business, their problems and what solutions they are looking for. And don’t you know it!
You can’t walk in to a sales presentation, or pick up the phone and ask someone to tell you about their business because you are already showing that you are a time waster to them.
You probably feel the same way when people try and sell to you. “It was another sales person wasting my time” is something you might say as you slam down the phone.
If you are going to sell successfully then you need to do quality research on your prospects. Being unprepared is being unprofessional. Just ask Andy Murray, he said that being unprepared was why he did not win an Olympic Tennis Gold, despite having the huge talent and opportunity to do so.
When you can find out so much information about a company and a prospect you are going to be targeting, there are no excuses.
Sure, you may need to ask a few specific questions when you do meet or call, but make sure you have the basic knowledge to ask GOOD OR GREAT QUESTIONS!
By being prepared it’s not enough to know what a company sells and their phone number. You need to check a company’s website, read it, (at home if necessary), make notes of relevant things you can ask about and identify why you are the solution to their problem. And a company website is not the only place you have that can give you the edge.
Here are some tips about places you can find information that will give you the understanding you need to be professionally prepared.
1. The Internet. The company will usually have a website. But why not enter the company name and see what pops up from Google? All sorts of information may crop up, some of it irrelevant but some of it will be gold dust. And how about the person you are meeting. Are they on LinkedIn, Ecademy, MySpace or other social/networking sites?
Can you find out if they have children, what sports team they follow, where they worked before? Remember the handy acronym – F.O.R.M which stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Money, (F.O.R.M.) Knowing something about these means you can build a rapport with the prospect. And if their name doesn’t crop up, that may tell you that they aren’t the decision maker you are looking for!
2. Their selling tools. Whether it’s a brochure, PDF white paper, or advertisement, their company produced it, so you can be sure it represents what the company thinks, the way it positions itself, how it does business, what types of partners it has. These are all good clues.
3. Their partners or distributors. It can be enlightening when you hear what these say about the company. They may tell you if they pay on time, whether there a pain to deal with, and any other problems which might be opportunities for you.
4. Their rivals. Rivals can often tell you what the company you are targeting are like in negotiations and how they sell. They can be happy to dish the dirt and let you know weaknesses you can exploit or plug!
5. Their customers. Customers are happy to talk. They offer the ultimate litmus test on what a company is really like on quality and delivery of goods and services.
6. Check with your network. There may be someone in your network that can tell you a golden nugget of information that can be invaluable in securing a sale.
7. Other departments. Do they have a Public relations department who will tell you more or the marketing department?
8. How about their sales department. Salespeople love to talk. In fact they love to talk more than they love to sell usually!. Get them talking and you’ll find out a whole load.
9. Google yourself. If you are doing it, your rivals and your prospects are too! Make sure you have a brand online that fits what you need to be to succeed.
10. Ensure you get what you need from the meeting. If you have done the preparation you don’t want to walk away without accomplishing your objectives. So make sure you are focussed on getting to where you want to be. Write the objectives down so you ensure you are crystal clear.
Preparation does take time. But it only takes the same amount of time as most salespeople spend on getting their presentation ready about their own company.
That’s what everyone does. And if you do what everyone does then that is what is really risky – not standing out from the crowd.
In the process of preparing you will have spoken to a large number of people in the business and will have learned a lot more than your rivals - another great bonus that will help you in the future.
Finally, your prospect will be impressed if you prepare. You’ll stand head and shoulders above other sales people, leaving a lasting impression of someone that is serious and good to do business with, whether immediately or in the future. And that’s a result.
What ways have you found that help you sell and market your legal services? Want to share marketing legal services best practice?