If I asked you to name one trend in the printing industry, chances are you would be up to the challenge. But what if I asked you to name a trend in, say, the banking industry? Now how prepared are you?
One of the most powerful, credibility-building sales tools you’ve got is understanding the trends in any given vertical market. The fact that you know something about what’s going on in their world changes your status from salesperson to subject matter expert and by the time you finish the sentence that started, “I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal,” you might have everything necessary to gain traction and entry into this new customer.
While no one likes a know-it-all, you should make it a point to do a flyby on the issues that are of importance to the industries you are pursuing. Customers care that you care. It matters that you know. Even a quick, “Trends in the <>” Google search can reveal some talking points. Later, when you are on the phone and trying to get an appointment, by using that factoid, your sales pitch is elevated and a new and valuable conversation has begun.
Trends in any industry are relevant and important to the people you are calling on. That alone should make them important to you, too. Find out what’s trending before you pick up and make your next prospecting call.