Someone from a well-known service provider left a voicemail message for me yesterday afternoon, telling me I had signed up for their webinar, and was not able to make it, so he was…

“…calling to follow up to see what your interest was as far as social media……”

To encourage discussion, I posted a comment about this on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, suggesting a simple website check would have helped him approach me in a different manner.

In my case, he wouldn’t have even needed to look very far to know that my “interest” in marketing, including Social Media, is very high.  My tagline with my logo gives a hint: Strategic Social Media.  You can see it up there at the top of this page.

I write about this not to make anyone look bad.  I didn’t post the name of the individual, nor his company. That’s not important.  Nor do I think I am more special than the next person, warranting anyone making a big deal about what I do, because that’s not the case.  I have a feeling he’s a very nice person.  I am writing this to bring attention to the very basics of sales, business development and relationship-building.

My suggestion: Cover the basics before you make calls, write emails or schedule in-person meetings.

I know it takes time.  I started my career in sales, and am involved in it now by virtue of owning my own business.  I respect what rainmakers, salespeople, professionals and business development experts do for a living.

Think of it this way:  You just spent a lot more time and opportunity by coming across unprepared and uninterested enough in the process of learning about me than you would have by covering a basic step such as visiting my website.  It would have taken less than a minute to establish my areas of expertise, which you could have then mentioned in your phone call.  They are mentioned in a few different tabs on my website, in bullet form here and a much longer version here.

Think how impressed I would have been to hear this on my voicemail:

“Nancy, I’m sorry you weren’t able to make our webinar. I know how busy you are, but it was a great one, so I’ll email the replay link to you in case you’d like to watch it later.  I see from your website that your business is marketing consulting, including social media, so I would love to talk to you about how our service might be something to offer your clients….”

Bottom Line:

Show your potential clients you are serious by being prepared enough to learn a fact or two about them or their business before approaching them.  Just like in a job interview, it tells them you understand enough about them to match your service or skills with their, or their clients’, needs.

What do you think? Do you do this kind of research before talking to a potential client?

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  • I 100% agree that you must do your research before talking to a potential client. With resources such as blogs, twitter, facebook, etc. it is incredibly easy to take five minutes to look someone up to see if you have a common thread to build on. Part of my job is setting up meetings with contacts we have never met. I do an extensive amount of research prior to the meeting(s) and give it to the lawyer/professional as a report. This ensures the meeting is relevant, on topic and has the potential to grow into a relationship. Great post Nancy!

  • Thanks Samantha. It really is the simple things, isn’t it? People are so busy, so approaching them with background about them speaks volumes about your level of expertise, right? Thanks for stopping by!