The key to any successful sales call is to be prepared.
It doesn’t matter if you’re cold calling, on your initial presentation, or on a follow-up call; the fundamentals don’t change. So let’s take a moment to go over a fundamental pre-call checklist that can be tailored to suit different stages in the sales process or different industries and instantly produce better sales call results.
1. Have the objective of the call clearly defined. This gives you some focus and a clear goal to shoot for which helps to clear your head and boost confidence . The objective should be realistic and appropriate for the particular point of the sales process that the call is for. That means play for an appointment, follow-up call, learning who their boss is, discovering their decision process.
Key point: The simpler you fram the objective, the less likely it will be to be lost in the heat of the sales call.
2. Have a script ready. This doesn’t mean a word for word script. You’ve probably heard these automatons. Overly detailed scripts trap you in reading or searching for the “right” answer.
Instead use a bullet list of key points or responses you’ve crafted to common objections. I’ve found that writing them on index cards and displaying them in your workspace works well, makes it easy to add to (and subtract from), and helps you constantly practice.
Key point: Practice makes perfect. Have these benefit bullets and objection parries all around you.
3. Keep organized. It really makes no difference if you’re cold calling on the phone, in the field, or making a final presentation – you need to be organized. Keep your materials and tools easily accessible and neatly displayed. It will help you keep your cool under pressure and keep the customer focused on you, not your fumbling and stumbling. You’ll spend less time hunting for things and more time analyzing their buying signals or objections.
Key point: If you are disorganized you will distract and worry your prospect.
4. Smile and Breathe. Never underestimate the power of a deep breath and a wide smile. Hand in hand, they serve to calm the nerves and build confidence. Clear your head of any other items that are on your agenda and focus yourself on the task at hand. With a couple of positive phrases of self-encouragement and a smile you’ll be on your way to a successful call.
Key point: Stand up and smile. You’ll be amazed at how that comes through on a phone call. Try it.
What do you do? I’d love to collaborate in the comments on this one.
It’s 2011 and I’m guessing your sales didn’t quite shoot the moon like you thought they would (even this early in Jan). This might help…a weekly sales jolt: Join the Better Closer newsletter – New and improved for 2011!