You Found WHAT using Google? – Search Secrets You Must Use Prior to Your Sales Call – by Sam Richter

Best-selling author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling and top-rated speaker on the Know More! Sales Training Program

It’s estimated that there are about two trillion online information searches conducted via popular search engines each year. Search engine rankings show that about 65% of searches are done via Google. In my experience working with thousands of executives each year, in the business world, I believe Google has a 95% search market share. Yet even though Google is very easy to use, most people only access a small portion of what Google has to offer.

It’s imperative that prior to any sales call, that you find information about your prospect so you can customize your pitch. The standard call where you give the same pitch or voice mail message to everyone just doesn’t cut it (yet it’s surprising how many people still “smile and dial). I’m not talking about visiting someone’s Web site.

Rather, a good search can reveal detailed information that helps you better personalize your pitch and your examples to things that your prospect or client cares about.  If you’re a true sales pro who understands that information is power, these three Google Web Search Secrets can help you get the inside information on companies, industries, and people.

Google Advanced Search:  For most people, receiving millions of Google search results has become a way of life. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Think of Google as a virtual vacuum cleaner, looking for Web pages with words that it can vacuum up and put in the Google database. When you type in words into the Google search form, all it is doing is returning Web page results where your words have appeared most often.

The trick, then, is putting better information into Google so you can get better information out. How? Use the Google Advanced Search form. Conduct a search off of the main Google site and on the results page, you’ll find the link right next to the search button.

Once in Google Advanced Search, you can enter in words, phrases, words that are not important to you, and more. Take a few moments and think about exactly what you want, and use the fields to enter the information. Click the search button and notice how much better your results are.

Google News Search: Type the name of a company in Google.  If the company name is more than one word, put the name between quotation marks (e.g. “acme corporation”). On the Google results page you’ll see a link on the left side that says “News.”  Click on the link.  This limits your results to recent news articles related to your search.

Scroll down a bit and on the left side, you’ll see some date range options. Click on one or choose your own date range and you can see news published during your selected time frame. Click the “Archives” link and see older news that is available for free, or that you can purchase from the publication.

How can you use this information? Imagine prior to a sales call that you conduct this sort of search. You click on the current month and pull up press releases and articles. You reference this information during your meeting, for example, you might say: “I saw in your company press release from last week that you are…” or “I thought that article from last month where you were quoted was…”  Even the historical information is valuable, as it will show you how the company has progressed over time, past partnerships, and it even might reveal past or current vendors.

Google Filetype Search:  Imagine finding a competitor’s sales proposal, an association’s membership list, or a high-end research report online.  It’s truly amazing what people post to the Web. From company budgets to vendor and client lists, companies think that the files they post online for colleagues or clients to download are secure, but if not properly protected, Google can index the data and make it available to people who know how to look.

  1. Enter the information you want and/or the company name (use quotations around phrases).
  2. Enter filetype: (filetype colon) and then choose a filetype extension e.g. pdf = adobe acrobat; xls = Excel spreadsheets; ppt = PowerPoint document; doc = Word document.
  3. For example, “paper industry” + “membership list” filetype:xls will search for a paper industry membership list in Excel format.  “Widget corporation” filetype:ppt will search for a Widget Corporation PowerPoint presentation.  “Plastics industry” + trends OR issues filetype:pdf will locate research reports and/or articles related to trends or issues in the plastics industry.

If you’re looking for additional search resources, please make sure to visit my Know More! Center where you can also download my Know More! Toolbar ( The site is completely free and it will help you to stop “surfing” through Google search results and instead start getting the information you need, the first time, every time. I look forward to receiving your comments and ideas on how you use Google prior to any sales call.  Until next month…happy searching!

These are just three of the more than 80 people, company, and industry information search tips and resources you’ll find in the top-selling and award-winning book, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling and the world renowned Know More! business and sales improvement program.  To learn more, visit