Who doesn't love Phil Dunphy from Modern Family? (Read to the end for one of my favorite Phil quotes.)
In an episode I saw recently he was trying to sell a house. It had taken a long time and when he thought he had an interested buyer he, with the help of his daughter, and knowing the name of said prospective buyer, found out everything he could about this person online. He found out he loved cage-fighting, loved a certain hockey team, and had a dog, among other things.
So knowing these things he made one of the rooms in the house a cage fighting room. He hung a banner of the prospect’s favorite hockey team in the dining room and he even put in a doggie door. As you can imagine, in typical Dunphy fashion, he screwed the whole thing up and ended up looking like a hopeless stalker.
I, of course, don't want that to happen to you, but it got me thinking of the importance of tailoring your approach to a prospective client. I think when it comes to sales techniques there is some value in researching not just the business you are prospecting but also with the person you are trying to get in front of. We talk a lot about getting attention and standing out when we talk about the 'approach phase' of the sales process, and maybe one of the ways to make that more effective is to tailor how you stand out to the person you are trying to stand out to.
- Maybe you see somewhere (that's public to see) that the prospect coaches soccer, and your company has a box at a local teams arena.
- You notice that they support a particular charity and it turns out you do too.
- You notice they have a blog so you make a comment on an article they've written.
- Maybe you belong to a certain group on LinkedIn and it turns out your prospect belongs to that group as well.
These are all acceptable ways of connecting and building rapport with the individual person while not quite stalking them the way Phil did. They are natural coincidences and can usually be found through mutual contacts or on LinkedIn.
Oh, and that favorite Phil Dunphy quote?
"You can insult a lot of things about me: my hair, my voice, my balance-board exercises, but don’t insult my selling! That crosses a line. What line? Oh, you don’t see it? That’s because I just sold it!"
Now that you're well on your way to building a connection with the prospect and getting that first appointment, check out our Hourglass Needs Analysis worksheet to help ensure you're asking the right questions and uncovering their true needs.