According to sales expert Barry Farber, customers expect you to know their business--and their competition--as well as you know your own. Use annual reports, trade publications, chamber of commerce directories and the prospect's own marketing materials for research.
Answer objections with words like "feel." Don't argue when a prospect says, "I'm not interested." Instead, say, "I understand how you feel," and then explain your company's advantages and ask for an appointment.
Once you've made the sale, ask for feedback. Farber advises new entrepreneurs to ask prospects, "What do I need to do to maintain and grow our relationship?" Even if they have complaints, always give clients the chance to let you solve the problem.
Excerpted from Get Smart: 365 Tips To Boost Your Entrepreneurial IQ