Image by: Valerie Everett
By Charles Lewis
It’s “go” time. You are a lean, mean, selling machine. But first you’ve got to get through the door to seal that deal. Your Trojan horse is the sales call, and, if done properly, it will have you sitting in your prospective clients’ office sometime over the next 48 hours. And that’s when and where the money is made.
But for so many of you sales warriors – worriers? – the battle is won or lost on the phone during that very first call. First impressions are extremely important as conclusions can be drawn quickly and spread through the office like a virus, but stick around for a lifetime. You’ve got to make every second count – you might not get another shot at it, buddy.
So here are some strategies to help strengthen your sales call game …
1 – Be Professional
You would think this would go without saying. But you would be surprised by how many calls are blown because a salesman lacks professionalism. Even if you are speaking with just a receptionist, give 100%. Never give anyone a reason to talk bad about you or your lack of professionalism – that’s a sure-fire way to not end up on the losing side of things. Stay a pro by always using a proper business greeting and a (well-rehearsed) introduction (name, company your represent, who would you like to speak to).
2 – Every Day Is Thanksgiving
It doesn’t have to be a holiday to say “thanks” – you should let your client or potential client know that you really do appreciate them taking time out of their busy day to talk to you. Remember, they don’t have to talk to you at all, but they are, so let them know expressing your gratitude. You’ve been given an opportunity, now make the most of it. Say it with me now … “Thank You.”
3 – Book ‘Em, Dan-O
When making that sales call, the goal is to get an order or make a sale right there. Done and done. Of course, if the client is new, that might not be possible right away. If you can’t get an immediate order or sale, the next goal would be to schedule an in-person meeting (preferred) or follow-up phone meeting (sometimes that is all you can do). Be ready to book something right away, taking the first available open spot that you can manage. Get ahead of your competition.
4 – Land Line, Please
Cell phones are amazing. But they also drop calls and occasionally introduce strange sounds into the conversation. You want to come across as having your you-know-what together – but a crappy cell signal can ruin everything. Use a land line whenever possible. The quality of the phone call will be much better and less prone to ending suddenly. Plus, your client will not mind staying on the phone longer to buy more or talk more about new products. If a land line isn’t available, find a place to make your cell calls in an area that has proven to be reliable in the past, reception-wise.
5 – Confirmation
Send an email confirming that you set the appointment and at what time you are expected. Some of these folks are extremely busy and may forget to write it down (which can lead to wasted time, bad appointments and unwarranted negativity aimed toward you). The client will also appreciate your attention to detail. If you do set an appointment for next week, a follow-up “reminder” call stating the date, time and location of the meeting. Also, of course, include your name and company you work for along with a statement to the effect that you look forward to meeting with him or her.