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Published:July 18th, 2008 09:49 EST
How Ready are You?

How Ready are You?

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

This week, I received a phone call from a company on the East coast that wanted to sell me a service. I`m generally very easy going when it comes to receiving phone calls. Even if I don`t recognize the phone number, I`ll almost always answer it, and if it`s a salesperson, I`ll generally give them the time of day that they need to give their pitch or presentation to me.

This week, I received such a call, as I do a several times every week. The woman on the other end of the phone pitched me on a computer backup service that would be handled entirely online. It was very intriguing to me. I was very interested. I liked what she was pitching because it solves a problem that I`m having. I need backup services for my computer.

The important part of the story is that I just recently purchased similar backup services from a company called Mozy (, but I`d be open to hearing what another company has to say because I`m not having great success with the services of the company that I bought from.

Because I had recently just acquired these services, I did know something about them. So I asked the caller a few questions. I asked her if their services were similar to the services of Mozy. She had never heard of Mozy, even though this company is an industry leader. It was important for me to be able to compare the services that she was selling to something that I was already familiar with because that was going to save a lot of time in her explanation of those services.

But the salesperson was ill-prepared for our call. She didn`t know her stuff. She didn`t know who the competition was. She didn`t know what their capabilities were. In fact, I question whether she even knew what the capabilities of her own company were.

Ordinarily, I`m very easy going and very sympathetic, but this particular time, the lack of preparedness on this salespersons` part really got my goat. And in a rare move, I told her that I would be happy to listen to her pitch if she was prepared to deliver it but I wouldn`t listen to the pitch even a minute before that.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, make sure that if you`re going to go out and talk to customers, prospects, and others, that you`re well prepared and that you know your stuff. You owe that to your prospects. And you owe that to yourself because if you don`t go out well prepared, you`re going to find out that your close rate is disappointingly low.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or  Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship -  And finally, for film makers: - our newest project.