Researching prospects efficiently and effectively is vital for your association to build a strong non-dues revenue stream. Converting a cold lead or a lukewarm prospect to a customer isn’t easy, but by doing a bit of homework you can successfully reduce the number of calls it takes to close an account.
In a perfect world, you would have ample time for research in advance of meetings with prospects. However, if the reality of deadlines and competing responsibilities leaves you crunched for time, here are 3 suggestions of what to look for in order to find the most important information in less than 15 minutes.
Use LinkedIn to learn more about the decision maker
You may not have time to stalk their profile in detail but be sure to note things like:
- Common connections- Common connections can instantly turn your cold call into a trusted introduction.
- Their job description- Doing a quick scan of their responsibilities can give you a good idea of how far their decision-making power extends and if others should be included in the sales process.
- Their alma mater(s)- This can be a great way to connect personally and perhaps uncover more common connections.
Leverage news sources to identify ‘trigger events’
Are there any notable changes that would make the prospect a great fit for your association’s trade show or publication?
Examples of trigger events are the recent awarding of funding, a new product launch, or an announcement of a merger or partnership. If you use a CRM like Salesforce, customer headlines can quickly be found on your home screen.
You can also reference:
- Google Alerts– This free tool from Google will send important news updates about the companies you select to your inbox in real time.
- Their blog- Anything newsworthy will be shown on the company blog. Checking the blog will not only give you trigger events but it can give you a great sense of the issues and topics that the company cares about.
Mine your own CRM for insider information
- Have other colleagues had interactions with this company? – Picking up the phone quickly to get them to elaborate on their notes could be helpful.
- Who are at least 2-3 similar customers that you have helped with solutions? – Being able to spout off about 2-3 names goes a long way in building confidence.
- Is your current prospect different than the contact name that you have in your CRM? – A new person in a decision-making position could open new doors for your products/services.
The bottom line is that researching prospects is simultaneously one of the most valuable and the most time-consuming sales activities. Knowing your ‘go-to’ resources can help you to avoid going down the rabbit hole and allow you to get the information that you need to affect the outcome in your favor and the prospect’s favor.
If you are interested in learning more strategies to boost your non-dues revenue, please contact our team to schedule a complimentary “Non-Dues Revenue Check-Up”.