Today’s featured tool is Charlie App aka Charlie, an awesome little app (available on Web and iPhone) to help sales professionals prepare for meetings. If you're anything like me, you probably do a bit of internet stalking...err I mean research, before you get on the phone or meet a client in person. This isn't just so you can be prepared to know their business, but because it helps to kick things off early on during the "small talk" period. If you're looking to differentiate yourself from everyone else that's talking about the weather, Charlie helps you do just that.
This Week's Tool: Charlie
What does it do: Charlie helps you better prepare for your client meetings. It first looks at your calendar to find all of the individuals you're scheduled to meet that day. It then gathers information from all over the web, and then sends you a 1 pager on the individual you're about to meet, before you actually start your meeting. This includes recent news on their company, info on their work history, recent tweets, common followers, and lots more.
Cost: Completely FREE! I didn't even find a paid option on their website.
How Does it Help Me Sell?
Instead of wasting time finding information about your clients, use Charlie to save you time and just have it sent to you. I no longer need to go find the persons Twitter handle to see recent tweets; I don't need to check LinkedIn to understand where the company is headquartered, recent press or how many employees it has; and I can stop Googling the persons name to find some obscure piece of information to better understand their interests. Here is a quick snapshot of what I received from Charlie for a meeting I had recently with my friend Liam Horne @ Atomic.vc:
2. Be Tactical in Building Rapport
Having a positive relationship with your clients helps you differentiate yourself as a seller. That's why I like to be as intentional as possible in trying to build rapport, in every single conversation I have. This isn't meant to be disingenuous. It's simply taking a tactical approach to making conversation, rather than showing up and hoping for the best. If it's the first time I'm speaking to a client and I find out that we both shared interest, I'll make it a point to bring that up in conversation. For example, sticking to the example I used above with Liam @ Atomic.vc, let's assume I was meeting with him as a potential client. This is another snippet of what Charlie gave me:
Knowing that we both have a shared interest in Venture Capital and that we both follow Naval Ravikant, I'd make it a point to ask Liam if he's been following Naval's recent blog posts and tweets on the US Election. The reality is, it doesn't really matter whether or not Liam has read Naval's specific blog posts. It's about bridging the vendor/seller gap between us, and humanizing the "business meeting" into a conversation between two individuals with shared interests. I love it when I can notice a client tone or body language shift from reserved and corporate, to open and casual.
How Do I get started in using Charlie?
Pro-Tip - Be sure to have the Daily Digest feature turned on in your Settings. I find this to be super helpful, as I like to prepare for all of my scheduled meetings first thing as I have my morning coffee.
Are you inspired to use Charlie to help you prep for your meetings? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear what your experience is like, and if it helps you build rapport with your clients. Cheers.
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