Whether the call be cold or scheduled, these seven steps should carry you to through a successful sales call.
Speaking on the phone remains a key portion of sales in most industries, so perfecting your sales call technique carries paramount importance. Though the details of a perfect sales call rely upon so many factors that a single article couldn’t possibly cover them all, there are seven steps you can rely on in most any circumstance. Whether the call be cold or scheduled, to a consumer or other business, regardless of industry, these seven steps should carry you to through a successful sales call.
The first step on this list takes place well before you sit down to make the call-probably before you know who you want to call. You can skip this if you already have a healthy amount of experience with the sort of sales call you’re planning on making, otherwise put together a script and learn it. Then, toss it out, because sticking to a rigid script is a terrible idea.
The goal here is to imprint the shape of a successful call on you without reaching the level of ‘rehearsed’ that leaves you slow to adjust to unexpected circumstances.
Whether you’re cold calling or making a scheduled sales call with a known factor, learn everything you can. The very least you can do is get names right-and with a name, you can learn a lot more via the internet. You shouldn’t shoehorn in every detail you cull from the web into a sales call, as it can come across as creepy and/or desperate, but that familiarity will give you insight into what the prospect might want or need from you and your company. It should also help you anticipate hard questions you might need to have an answer for.
Whether it’s your first time talking to the client or not, you’re establishing with your introduction an impression on the client which will last at the very least until the end of your call. If you know how the prospect prefers to be addressed and otherwise interact with a way that shows some degree of personal knowledge, you’ll create a bond which will be invaluable in this and later communications. Don’t talk about yourself or your business to excess.
Questions serve two purposes in a sales call-giving the prospect a reason to speak (people love to talk about themselves) and giving you more information you can use to close. Ask about other decision-makers, ask about needs and wants, ask about current solutions you might help them replace. Give them open-ended questions and your prospect will do 80% of the work.
When the time comes, be ready for a potential client’s questions about yourself, your business, and your product. You must be comfortable answering probing questions. If your product has a known flaw, be ready to defend it, know the workarounds that your current customers utilize. It only takes one question you can’t answer to kill a sales call. Take your time, put thought into your answers, and stay calm even if the tone feels adversarial.
To close a sales call, you want to firmly establish a few things in the prospect’s mind:
That last one might not matter as much for the immediate sale, but it will improve word-of-mouth, reduce refunds, improve returning-customer numbers, and cut down on customer service calls. Many, many salespeople forget the final step of the buying process-regret.
Make sure you push the prospect to engage one way or another before they hang up-don’t end a sales call on a vague promise to ‘get back to you’.
Sell or fail, consider what went well and what went wrong in your sales call after you hang up. Accurate self-reflection will do more for your technique than anything else.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.