Sales people work so hard to “get in the door” with key buyers and influencers that they owe it to themselves not to blow the critical time in front of the prospect. Here is some research that supports what I have seen over-and-over again in the field…many sales people do not spend enough time preparing for meetings with prospects.
My “rule of thumb” is that you need to spend at least the same amount of time preparing for a meeting as being in the meeting itself, often more if it’s an important meeting. So if you have a one hour meeting scheduled with a prospect you need to spend at least an hour preparing.
Prospects will not react well to sales people who have failed to do their basic “situational” homework. Your meeting with the prospect should be about asking questions to stimulate a conversation that reveals the prospect’s needs. You cannot waste time asking questions that could have been answered by basic Internet research or by reading the prospect’s annual report. Failing to review your prospect’s website and running the prospect him/herself through Google is now considered to be plainly sloppy by most prospects.
So look at your calendar for this month and schedule in time to prepare for each upcoming prospect meeting. Preparation may seem boring to some sales people but true sales professionals know it’s time very well invested.