I’ve heard sales people say, “I don’t have the time to research a prospect.”

That comes from people who believe volume over quality will drive more revenue.  Not true!!

If you just send out bad email after bad email, you are just sending out bad emails.  The best strategy is to gather a little intel on the person you are emailing.

Here are 5 outstanding free resources right at your finger tips:

Linkedin – my number one favorite resource!!  What you can learn about a prospect on Linkedin is invaluable!  Here is just a small list of what you can leverage:

  • Role and responsibilities
  • Their performance record
  • If they have direct reports
  • How long they have been in their current position
  • What positions they’ve previously held
  • What other companies they’ve worked at
  • People you might both be connected to
  • And so much more

Beyond the info listed above, I love the fact that you can see the groups they are in and you can join them too to and monitor any discussions they join.  You also can create saved searches and saved profiles, which make it really easy to track those people who are important to you.

Google – As you know, Google has a wealth of information and my favorite tool that I use daily is the Google alerts.  With a Google Alert, I’m notified when some news event regarding my particular person and/or company hits the web. Automatically, Google sends me a link to the article. It’s like having a virtual assistant and it’s absolutely free.

Twitter – This is a great secret, as more and more companies are tweeting about their businesses.  It’s a great way to learn about things going on internally at a company that might not hit the web otherwise.  Follow your target contacts and/or company tweets on a daily basis, and you and will have insight into what is going on in their world.

Industry Websites – If you want to be a real thought leader and up your level of value, look on industry websites for industry-specific information that relates to their job and company.  The great thing about these sites is that they usually have a newsletter you can sign up for, making it easy for you to keep on top of industry specifics.

Company Website – While there is nothing new or sexy about a company website, it is still an invaluable tool.  Key areas to look at are press releases, news, leadership, quarterly and annual reports and events.  A lot of companies have a blog, so sign up for it!

By automating a lot of your research, you can dramatically cut down on the time you spend searching for info. You can then schedule when you are going to glance through your honey pot of invaluable info.

The great news about setting up this automation is that it is easy to unsubscribe.  When you land a deal and no longer need the info or an opportunity fades, just hit the unsubscribe button and you are done.

Guest post written by Beth Mastre, Vice President Strategic Development for The Sales Hunter.  For the past 20+ years, Beth has honed her email marketing skills, not only out of sheer necessity, but also because she is passionate about connecting with people and helping them succeed.  Beth’s experience and knowledge on this topic is truly second to none.  Her experience is invaluable to The Sales Hunter and to other clients who look to her for guidance and advice. You can email her or call her at 402-614-7080.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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