Before you can make any sales presentation, you first need to know as much as you can about your prospects. No matter who the prospect is, get a leg up by using online sources to get to know them before you call:

  • Visit the corporate website. Familiarize yourself with the company's products and services, senior management, mission statements, upcoming projects, recent news — and even contact phone numbers. Much of this information can be found quickly on a corporate website.

  • Google the company. Using Google or another search engine can bring up sometimes thousands of mentions of the company on sites that may give you a different perspective from the corporate site. You can also use Zoominfo or LinkedIn to get information on companies. And don't overlook the lowdown from the company's competitors!

  • Google your contact. The Internet holds valuable information about the individual you plan to contact at the company. You can gather both professional and personal details — both can help you sell.