Cover Story

Being prepared is not just for Boy Scouts
“When you prepare for your sales calls, you should also prepare to start closing more sales.”

By Brett Meadows

Do you wake up in the morning fully prepared for your sales day?

Most salespeople (and you may be included) go into a sales call in total ignorance and are usually only half-prepared. You may know everything about your business and what your company does—but you know nothing or very little about your prospect and their business. Most salespeople have asked and continue to ask one of the poorest questions in sales to their potential customers: “Mr. Prospect, can you tell me a little more about your business?” This question makes you look totally unprepared and worse, it makes you look unprofessional.

If I was to ask you what you do to prepare the night before the sales call, your answer would likely be along the lines of: get my business cards ready, organize my samples, and get my point of sale material ready. This makes you about as prepared as your competitor.

So, how do you get totally prepared for the sales call? Here are the top three things you should do to prepare before each sales call:

1. Use the Internet: But don’t just go to their website—make sure you Google the name of the company and review what pops up. There will be articles and possibly more great important information. Then Google the name of the person you are meeting with. This will give you a great idea of who you are meeting with. If you are looking up the name of the person you are meeting with, make sure you also go to LinkedIn and enter their name there. This will give you another great resource that I outline in my next point.

2. Use your Network: Using LinkedIn can give you a great snapshot of people in your network that may know your prospect. They may be able to give you a fact or two that may end up tipping the scales in your favour.

3. Spend time creating questions before you meet with your prospect or client: Asking relevant and powerful questions doesn’t just happen. You have to put some work into it. After reading more about your prospect, write out at least five questions to take with you to your appointment. You’ll be amazed at how differently the conversation goes when you arrive prepared. Don’t have a list of great questions? Email me at with the header of “Power Questions” and I will send you 25 great power lead-ins.

Proper preparation takes time and some effort on your behalf. However, it will be appreciated in the eyes of your prospect and they will be silently impressed as he or she will know you took the time and effort to prepare. This will give you an advantage over your competition.

When you prepare for your sales calls, you should also prepare to start closing more sales.

Yours in sales.

Brett Meadows is one of the few Canadian, Gitomer-Certified Advisors and is the only Crazy Canuck of Sales. Brett trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Brett for your next event, please visit or contact the friendly folks at “Train With Meadows” via email at or by calling 289.696.3605.