Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Research - 3 key levels for Salespeople to consider

When researching for a meeting many salespeople focus purely on the company itself.
Yet to demonstrate broader understanding and create value there are three areas to consider.

1. Company - e.g. people, objectives, cash flow, culture, processes,resource.
2. Market - e.g. competitors, buyer trends, technological advances
3. Global - e.g. economies, exchange rates, social changes, world events.Possible sources of customer (and competitor) information


• Kompass Register

• Who owns whom
• Dun & Bradstreet
• Stock Exchange Year Book
• Yellow Pages
• Kelly’s Directory

Most of these are available in your local library ( Reference section). For more specialist directories consult the Directory of Directories.

Official, semi-official and professional bodies

• Professional Institutes and Trade Associations
• Companies House -
• Small Firms’ Information Centre
• Embassies (export trade, etc)
• Chambers of Commerce - Export Credit Guarantee Department
• H M Revenue and Customs
• Local Councils - planning authorities, etc
Department for Business Innovation and Skills

You can obtain information about these from the Internet, telephone directories and/or your local library.
Websites for
Economist Magazine
Financial Times
Director Magazine

Other Sources

• Internet/intranet
• Advertisements
• Mailing lists/circulars
• House journals/magazines
• Union publications
• Exhibitions, seminars, conferences
• Vehicles (addresses, email and telephone numbers)
• Personal canvassing
• Observation
• Local radio and television
• The local/regional/national press (e.g. city pages, classified advertisements)
• Trade journals/publications
• Business contacts (e.g. other salespeople in non-competitive industries)
• Social contacts
• Individuals in your own company (e.g. finance, marketing, sales managers, service engineers)
• Your existing company records
• Associate companies
• Existing customers
Merchant Banks -industry specialists ( per sector) e,g, listen out on Radio 4 Today programme for spokespeople from the likes of Dresdner, Investec, UBS and the Stockbroker pundits.

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