- Plan your call: One of the best ways to ensure that you get the most out of your sales calls is to plan the call in advance. Consider what your objectives are in making the call and write them down. Next you should consider your pitch and how to tailor that to ensure at least one of your objectives is met. Once you have an idea of how you plan to sell your product or service you should write down your ideal ‘call journey’. Start off by writing down what you consider as being the perfect call and then from there factor in any questions you feel the customer might ask, how you plan to answer them and how to then bring the call back on track.
- Research your prospect: This very much ties in with point number one. As well as thinking about how you want your call to pan out you should also think about the prospect you are talking to. Have a thorough look through their website, read about their products or services and check out their about page. This will mean that you can make the call much more personalised which will really stand out when compared to the masses of generic sales calls your prospect probably receives each day.
- Speak to the decision maker: Very often the decision maker of the company is not the person who answers the phone. In order to make your sales calls most productive you need to speak to the person who actually has the power to say yes or no. When making your call one of the first things you should do is ask to speak to the decision maker. If you have done your research as per point 2 then it is likely you will already know the name of this person. This can be difficult and may require a number of attempts as very often their calls will be screened by an assistant.
- Ask open ending questions: Asking a question with a yes or no answer can really stop a conversation dead. By asking open ended questions you are giving the prospect a chance to explain their needs as well as their hopes and fears about your product or service. You should always make sure that you listen carefully at this stage so that you really understand the roots of their resistance and can counteract any fears in a friendly and compelling way.
- Consider sending something to the prospect beforehand: I’m talking about something physical that you can send through the post. A unique or quirky promo item is just the ticket and will be a great way of helping you stand out from the crowd. It will also make a great way in as your opener can be ‘I’m just calling to see if you received the ____” I sent to you? This will immediately make people drop their guard.
Vicky works alongside Precept Sales Consultancy and is an avid writer on business related topics.