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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Ways to Show a New Business Prospect You Care

show a new prospect you careThe things you do are often more powerful than the things you say. 

New business prospects are more likely to increase their engagement level when they know a seller truly cares about them and their business. Think about your own buying habits—are you more likely to do business with someone who cares about you compared to a slick talking salesperson who only cares about making a sale? 

Here are five things to do before and during a first meeting with a new business prospect to demonstrate you care:

 1. Research the prospect before the initial meeting.

  • Research the person you are meeting with on LinkedIn and with a Google search.
  • Research the company, visit their website, read their blog, and follow them on social media.
  • Research their industry online to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges for the prospect.
  • Identify their competitors and research them to gain further category knowledge and insight.
  • Sample the product or take a walk through their physical location, if possible.
  • Ask them to connect on LinkedIn. 

2. Develop needs analysis topics and questions and write (type) them on a sheet of paper.

  • Determine which topics and questions are essential and which are just desirable.
  • Ask questions that let them know you’ve done your homework.
  • Get familiar with terminology from your prospect’s industry and how to use it appropriately.
  • Keep the questions handy (don’t think you can memorize them).
  • Asking the same questions to all prospects is the lazy way out and rarely uncovers desired business results attached large budgets.
  • Avoid over-preparation. 5–10 quality questions prepared in advance is usually sufficient. 

Bonus Tip: After you discuss their consumer journey and agree on an assignment with the prospect, be sure to ask questions about how they measure success. Questions like:

  • How would you describe the ultimate measure of success here?
  • What return on investment are you looking for?
  • Given our conversation about the consumer journey, what are some ways we can measure engagement along the purchase path?
  • What would be an early indicator of success?

3. Contract and align expectations for the meeting.

  • Send an Outlook invite after the prospect verbally commit to a meeting. Include the agenda, purpose of the meeting, and expectations.
  • Ask if other people form their organization should attend.
  • Send a reminder email the day prior to confirm the meeting.

4. Take notes during the meeting.

  • Use a needs/notes T-bar to separate client needs (also known as desired business results) to separate general information (notes) form the good stuff (needs/desired business results).

5. Ask, listen, ask.

  • Pay attention to their responses and ask appropriate follow-up questions.
  • Some of the best questions you will ask are follow-up questions.
  • When you hear a desired business result, keep asking questions to drill down to the root of the problem, challenge or opportunity. 

Take the Time to Care

Setting an appointment with a new business prospect is not an easy task. Take the time to follow these steps to show you care—it will reduce the relationship tension during an initial meeting with a prospect and accelerate the sales process!

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Topics: Needs Analysis prospecting sales strategy