Using “Social Engineering” To Uncover Prospecting Information


There is a simple four step process to social engineering in sales and it goes like this –

1) Identify who you are and the company you represent. This immediately shows that you’re not hiding anything and means the person you’re calling upon will be more likely to drop their guard.

2) Simply ask to help. Humans are wired from thousands of years of living in small tribes, and the success of the tribe means the success of your genes. You can ask to help in a genuine way which we’ll come onto in a second, and you’ll get far in these conversations.

3) After we have made the call and found that we need help with something, we need to justify this fact. Sentences along the lines of –

  1. “I’m going to be speaking with your VP of marketing tomorrow and I just wanted to make sure that my information was accurate.”
  2. “I have a meeting with your CEO next week, I want to make sure that what I’m proposing fits in with their agenda and to uncover if you would have a problem with X solution.”
  3. “I’d like to make sure that I’m booking a meeting with the right individual.”

4) The final piece is to make sure that you’re asking great questions. Typically, you’re looking for the basic facts that you don’t have information about yet. Never ask a question that could be looked up as that will make you look like a fool. And we’ve covered enough times already on this course how not doing your research is the number-one way to get a metaphorical dunce cap on your head. Also, try not to ask questions on opinions too much when social engineering as clearly this is subjective within the account.

The best places and people to engage with when social engineering your hot calls are as follows –

  1. The end users of your product or servicethese individuals will tell you why your competition sucks, why they need the features and benefits of your software specifically and can actually turn into decent advocates for you in the account itself.
  2. Gatekeepers and assistants – our goal is to bring them on board as a partner not to allow them to have control over our conversations. If you can build rapport with a gatekeeper by elevating them to someone you think has available information that can be useful to you and the company, they are more likely to help you out versus the competition and connect you more often with the prospect.
  3. Human resources – this one can be a little tricky as HR representatives will immediately be worried if you’re calling them and not the decision maker, but these individuals clearly have lots of information about who the decision-maker is and even their budgets potentially. This might not be an individual you reach out to directly but if you come into contact with them it’s always worth asking a few questions to qualify factual information.
  4. Public relations – again not always someone you think about calling initially when prospecting a business deal, but if the account is large enough these individuals might be open to discussing a PR relationship on the back of the deal being done.
  5. Procurement – it’s my experience that you don’t really want to be selling directly to John 18 as their main driver is price. However, they will have great information about budgets, decision-makers and whilst they may not make the final decision on who gets the business, they can certainly VETO you from winning the deal and so it’s always better to have them onside.
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