Identifying leads is a matter of determining the potential amount of interest that person has in a deal. Your techniques for this can include information on their current portfolio, financial history, and the roles they play in their current position.
Once a lead has been identified, and you’re ready to make that first call, it’s wise to spend just a few more minutes in preparation. Knowing some details about the person with whom you’re about to speak can have a big impact on the success of your call. Here are a few items to look into before you pick up the phone.
Years in Position
The amount of time the lead has spent in their current position can have a bearing on how you approach the conversation. The individual’s title gives you some insight into what their job entails, but how long they’ve held the position tells you a lot about them too.
Someone who has held their position for many years has likely seen some success and has considerable influence within the organization. Often, this person will be less interested in changing the status quo than someone who is relatively new. By the same token, someone who has not held a leadership position for long may be more open to looking at alternatives, but likely has a little less influence and professional capital within the organization.
All of this information will likely show up on a LinkedIn profile, or may be included on the company’s website.
This point is easy to determine, and can provide a great opening for making a personal connection. Find out a little about where they’re from, and bring up any connections you may have with the place. Have worked there in the past, or nearby? Is the location in the news recently for some reason? Is the lead a fan of their local sports team? All of these are conversation starters, and the lead will be impressed that you took time to learn about their hometown.
The same idea applies to finding out what college your lead attended. You might be able to comment on the school’s excellent programs or mention a friend or colleague who also attended that institution. Finding this information is generally as simple as a Google search.
Position in Local Market
Take a little time to look at the company’s website to see any recent deals they’ve completed. A good way to see how they stack up against their competition is to do a Google search of “company A” vs. “company B.” This might yield an article that compares the two, and it will give you some insight into the company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Depending on the organization, industry reports may include rankings that show how a specific company rates compared with local competition. On their website, see what positions are open in the company. A lot of openings can tell you that the company is undergoing some transitions and growth.
Interests and Passions
People who are very involved and passionate about their business are great prospects because they’re excited about improving their organization. They tend to be more curious about innovations and new ideas, and more open to hearing them.
The level of interest that a person has toward their work and organization can be gauged by checking a few sites. They may blog regularly about their business. Reading a few entries will familiarize you with their style and priorities. These may be found on the company’s site or the individual’s LinkedIn page.
Your lead could also be active in professional organizations and give talks at events and conferences. See if you can find out about any projects they’re working on and consider ways that you can be of help –whether it’s sharing a relevant article or recommending a related vendor.