The internet is littered with articles promising the secret to sales. “7 Tips the Pros Don’t Want You to Know” and “25 Super Sales Secrets” are filled with tidbits that can help you become a high-performing salesperson and take your sales organization to the next level.

Even with the wealth of information at our fingertips, every person in business has been on the receiving end of a bad pitch. Why is that?

Each business is different, and no two sales pitches are the same. However, there is one thing that is universal to all sales. After countless hours of research asking clients what makes or breaks a sales pitch, there was one piece of feedback mentioned consistently.

What is the number one piece of executive feedback?

Do your homework. The #1 complaint about salespeople from buyers is that “they have not done their homework”. This feedback comes from executive roundtables organized by TechCXO for their clients.

TechCXO has found over and over that executives’ number one pet peeve is sitting for a sales meeting where they must explain who they are and what their company does. Executives are busy people, and if they feel as though a salesperson enters the pitch knowing nothing about them or their business, it gives them little confidence that the offered solution will do anything for them. As one major media entertainment executive put it, “Look, when I first meet you, I’ve really got to make a decision if I’m going to invest in you, and if I’ve got to start from ground zero, I just don’t have that much time”. Even though preparing for a meeting only requires a quick Google search, SiriusDecision found that a whopping “82% of buyers indicate that they experience people who have not done their homework”.

82% of buyers indicate that they experience people who have not done their homework.

– SiriusDecision

how does this impact my sales strategy?

So, what does that mean for salespeople? To boil it down to basics, it means doing a search or two before your meeting so you can come prepared. You should never ask a question you can answer yourself, especially in today’s digital age. Google the company’s website, their recent news articles, their team structure, and check the person’s LinkedIn profile. It is crucial to know what the company and person you are selling to do on a daily basis, and it should be the crux of your pitch.

In addition to strengthening your understanding of their business, needs, and background, doing your homework enables you to show how your solution is tailor-made for their business needs. It allows time for you to ask more meaningful questions about the challenges their company faces.  Pitches will transform from talking about your product to telling the story of what a potential partnership between your companies could mean for their business, their bottom lines, and their careers. It puts the focus on them as a customer instead of a product or platform.

Doing your homework is the single best way to make a good impression in your sales meetings.

By showing you value the other party’s time and that they do not have to start from ground zero with you, you are demonstrating your company’s value as a business partner – and coming that much closer to closing your sales.

TechCXO is founded on the belief that high potential companies can benefit from proven interim of fractional executives whom they might not otherwise be able to access, afford, or because they are not needed full time. Learn more about TechCXO’s proven partners at TechCXO.com.  

Contact information:
Brad Milner, TechCXO, brad.milner@techcxo.com