Want to Sell More? Then Know More!
Presented by: Sam Richter, Founder, Know More!
Business is hard. Sales is even harder, especially in today's world where you can't meet face-to-face, visit facilities, and attend in-person trade shows and company conferences. In addition, because buyers are now comfortable meeting and conducting product demonstrations virtually, the competition is more global than ever, and buyer's have more choices and more knowledge about various options.
So, unless you want to compete on price, your only other option is to compete on value. Yet too many salespeople send emails, post social media direct messages, leave voicemails, and even conduct virtual sales calls without knowing anything about a prospect and what they might care about.
At UID, I am excited to share my program on how to master Sales Intelligence – ensuring relevancy and providing value by talking to the right person, at the right time, with the right message. By doing your homework before any virtual meeting, conversation, email, social media connection, and someday soon, in-person meeting, you can learn what is important to your prospect. When you know more about what the other person cares about, you can sell value because you're aligning your solutions with their needs. When you implement ethical online sleuthing techniques – that go way beyond just looking at a company's website – you can use what you find to differentiate from the competition, gain permission to ask challenging questions, build meaningful relationships, close more deals, and ultimately make a lot more money.
Yet while it may seem that the answer to every question is out there online, somewhere, the reality is not all internet searches are created equal. You obviously know how to enter a company name into Google, but do those results alone really tell the tale? In a word: no.
The internet is a vast ocean of data. Casting your net in the wrong place or in the wrong way can make you pull that net back empty – when a few yards away you missed a whole school of fish. According to research firm Find/SVP, 55% of online searches return results that are unfocused and irrelevant. How you search, and where, makes all the difference in terms of the completeness, complexity and credibility of the information you find.
Following are just a few of the dozens of Sales Intelligence search techniques I will share at UID. Spend just a few minutes – or even seconds – prior to any sales calls and you will be shocked at what you might find, and how you can use it to ensure relevancy and provide value in every communication:
- Google News Filtering: In Google, enter in a company name, a person's name, or an industry phrase and make sure to put multiple word companies within quotation marks. If it's a common name, add other terms such as a city, or a line of business. Or use the minus sign to remove a word from the results, e.g., manufacturing -automotive will show results with the word manufacturing in it but none of the results will include the word automotive. On the results page, under the search form, click on the 'News' button and find articles about what's going on related to your search. If there are many results, on the navigation under the search form, click the 'Tools' button. When the drop-down menus appear, click the 'Any time' option and then refine your results by date range.
- com: Choose a time frame using the pull-down menu. Enter the name of company – there is no need to add quotation marks as the site automatically adds them for you. Add a location if relevant, and any keywords. If there is a word or phrase you don't want in your results, add them in the 'Not' field. Click the 'News Articles' button to search Google News. Click the 'More News' button to search local newspaper, industry journals, and other news publications. Click the 'Press Releases,' 'Social Media,' and/or the 'Blog Posts' buttons and discover what the company is saying about themselves, and what others are discussing. Share what you find with a prospect and create an instant connection.
- Google Filetype Search: There are billions of documents housed on the Internet, including member directories, articles, attendee lists, and more. You can limit your search to types of files/documents by using the filetype: search followed by the type of document. Here are the most popular extensions: pdf = Adobe Acrobat; xls or xlsx= Excel spreadsheets; ppt or pptx = PowerPoint document; doc or docx = Word document. For example, if you wanted to find an aerospace association member directory, enter the following into Google: aerospace + association + ("member directory" OR "membership directory") filetype:pdf. If you want to find a list of Illinois-based chief technology officers, try: ("chief technology officer" OR cto) + illinois + (list OR attendee) filetype:xls.
- com: With 700+ million people in its database, LinkedIn is a great way to research people. To search LinkedIn, enter the name of a person within quotation marks, followed by part of the company name where the person works. For example, conducting a LinkedIn search for John Anderson returns more than 7,900 results. However, "John Anderson" "Starkey Hearing" returns only one. When viewing someone's LinkedIn profile, look for something in common. Maybe he went to the same college as you. Maybe she used to work at a company where you conduct business. When you meet with a prospect or customer, share that you looked at his or her profile, and share what you have in common. It's a great conversation starter and it can turn the sometimes awkward "cold call" into an enjoyable "warm call."
- io/search: Wouldn't it be great if you could figure out anyone's email address at any company? Although that's probably impossible, with Hunter, you can come close. For most companies, the back end of their website address is often the same back end as their email, and Hunter helps you determine the company's email naming convention. Create your free Hunter account and then enter the domain name of a company without the www, e.g., if the company's website address is www.acme.com, just enter acme.com. Hunter will then find webpages where email addresses exist with that domain and provide you the pattern of how the company formats its emails. For example, if we learn that Acme uses first initial, last name, domain name, if we're looking for Susie Jones, her email address is most likely firstname.lastname@example.org.
- com: Imagine if you could ask the engineers at Google to create a search engine featuring only the results you care about. In a sense, that's the Sales Intel Engine, a custom resource that makes crafting complex searches incredibly easy. The Engine helps you find the right prospects (decision makers) at the right time (what's going on in the other person's world where they might want to hear about your solution) with the right message (ensure relevancy in every communication). Just enter a word or two, click the button corresponding to your search needs, and let the Engine do the work for you. Everyone in my UID session will receive complimentary Intel Engine access, making it easy (and fun) to implement and automate the Sales Intelligence techniques that I will share.
Often called the "Modern Day Dale Carnegie" and one of the world's foremost Sales Intelligence and digital reputation authorities, Hall of Fame speaker, bestselling author, and technology entrepreneur Sam Richter takes the phrase: Knowledge is Power and turns it into reality. Learn more at www.samrichter.com.