26 Jul 2016

How Skipping Your Homework Can Kill a Deal

 Reposted the RecruitersCoach.net – September 23rd, 2015

In Ardi Kolah’s book The Art of Influencing and Selling, one of the quotes that stood out to me most was that, “Success is dependent on doing your homework.”

I’ve written before that the art of selling hinges on curiosity and that requires a little bit of homework. Just being curious isn’t enough, but the willingness to put the work into searching for answers is what will win you a negotiation.

Ardi Kolah continues on letting their readers know that sales are about, “being ruthless in qualifying in and qualifying out…” and any good recruiter knows that qualifying means doing some research. If you’re focusing your resources on those you know may have already opted into your product, then there is a great chance of achieving a positive sales outcome.

As a recruiter, I am constantly trying out new tools to optimize my business and in turn have tried out some great software systems, and some less than great. Anyone who has followed me for more than a year knows that I dislike Bullhorn as a product and that there is definitely room for improvement.

Any account manager doing their homework would know not to waste my time when it comes to pitching Bullhorn as my main ATS system.

This however, didn’t stop a rookie salesperson from calling me one morning and all but admitting that he had no idea who I was and definitely did not do any research on my brand or history with Bullhorn.

This is what will not only lose you potential customers, but also damage your brand in the long run.

If you want to make a sale, do your homework. This could be a quick Google search, to an in-depth brand analysis. When you call someone to pitch your services, you are taking up their time. Nothing will annoy a business owner or potential client off more than someone who starts their business relationship by wasting their time.

If as a customer I can understand that your product will save me time and money, then I will buy from you. But if I have to wade through endless follow-up calls and run-on pitch right off the bat, you are already showing me that you and your product have no interest in my business. Don’t waste my time, because my time is money.

Quoted directly from The International Negotiation Handbook:

One of the most important aspects of a successful negotiation is preparation. A negotiation can be won or lost in the preparation phase… Inadequate preparation can cause irreparable damage to relationships and the possibility of future negotiations with the parties involved.

In much less words, not doing your homework will damage sales and your brand in one fell swoop.

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