For most kids (and their parents), June means no more school, no more waking up at the crack of dawn, no more packing lunches…and most importantly, no more homework!
But, there’s another kind of homework that should never go away. It’s the “homework” you should be sending to your prospects before a sales call/meeting.
Why “homework” and what does it look like?
There are several benefits of sending a homework assignment to your prospect before a meeting:
1. You will gather critical information prior to a meeting.
2. You will get commitment from the prospect.
3. You will show your prospect that you have a process.
4. You pre-qualify the prospect.
The beauty of homework is that it can be whatever you want it to be. For my company, JoltCMS, it’s an online form that starts with some broad questions like:
- How would you describe the current state of your business – Poor, Fair, Good, Great?
- What goals do you have for the company in the next 6, 12, or 24 months?
- What will keep you from reaching those goals?
- Who would you consider to be your primary competitors?
And, then we get into more detailed questions like:
- Do you currently use a blog?
- Have you ever optimized your website for search engines?
- What’s your initial budget?
- What’s your ongoing monthly budget?
- Who else, besides yourself, will be part of the decision process?
Many of these questions are things that would typically come up in that first call or meeting. But, how much better off would you be if you knew all these answers BEFORE going in to that conversation?
I shared this homework concept recently with a home remodeler, and the first time he used it, he told me, “I got more information in 20 minutes than I used to get in one or two site visits.”
Want to meet with more qualified prospects?
Require that anyone you meet with must complete your homework before you get together or get on the phone.
Once you receive the homework answers, you should be at least somewhat confident about whether or not that prospect is potentially a good fit for you and your company.
Asking questions about areas like budget, timing, expectations, past experiences with other companies like yours, etc. is a great way to find out if you should even be meeting with this person.
If they’re expecting a Ferrari but only have the budget for a Chevy, you can now call that out before the meeting, rather than wasting your time and theirs to discover they can’t afford your services. Or, if your questions uncover any other kind of red flag for you, that’s an opportunity to bring up your concerns before investing time and resources in a meeting.
Ultimately, two things happen when you use homework:
1. You go into the meeting with a much better understanding of the situation; or
2. Based on the prospect’s input, you decide it’s best not to meet.
In either case, you’ve just made a concerted effort to only meet with highly qualified prospects.
School may be out, but homework should still be a part of your sales routine.
Wondering how to put homework into practice for your business? We’d love to help – just give us a call at 330-929-9449 or email email@example.com.
Thank you to Matt White for sharing. Matt is the owner of JoltCMS where he helps businesses help their customers.