7 months ago
February 21, 2017

3 Steps to Avoiding a Bad Sales Call

With a little careful attention and planning, you can minimize the chances of being on the wrong end of a bad sales call.

Claire McConnachie

We all hope for the best in our work endeavors, and sales is no exception. We want to believe that all clients are a potential good fit and that we can develop a successful working relationship. But sometimes a bad sales call is inevitable, and that can be a big source of frustration in terms of wasted time and effort. However, with a little careful attention and planning, you can minimize the chances of being on the wrong end of a bad sales call.

Research and Prepare

You probably wouldn’t take a 1,000 mile road trip without first getting directions and researching what you want to see along the way. Each sales call requires at least the same amount of advance preparation. Research and preparation are essential components for success in anything you do, and very often, a bad sales call can be traced back to a lack of preparedness. When you come into a sales meeting with background knowledge about the client and their challenges, you can show them how your company can solve those issues. Avoid a bad sales call by planning ahead.

On that note, it’s also important to screen your leads. You won’t even make it past the gatekeepers if you don’t know the name of the right person to contact. It’s just as important to research companies, too. Those that are going through bankruptcy may not be as likely to buy an expensive new computer network, for example. When you want to avoid a bad sales call, make sure you do your homework.

Start Strong

People don’t have as much time and patience as they may have had in previous decades, and short attention spans aren’t just applicable when it comes to television commercials. It’s more important than ever to open your sales pitch with a strong, attention-grabbing lead. While you want to build a relationship with your potential clients, reconsider your approach if you try to engage them in small talk about the weather or the baseball game. A weak opening statement can very easily turn your valuable opportunity into a bad sales call before you know it. 

If you are not sure about how to start strong with a bold opening statement, practice with a friend or another member of your sales team. You need to be confident and decisive to lead your client into making the right decision, and you need to do it quickly. Getting off on the wrong foot is a sure recipe for a bad sales call.

Listen Closely

Some people have pre-conceived notions about bad sales calls, so they come into the situation with a lot of resistance. They expect to receive a nearly scripted pitch, with well-rehearsed rebuttals to their objections. But although these may be signs of bad sales calls, it does not have to end there. Actively listening to your potential client can turn the expectations on their head and enable you to overcome them. Pay attention to body language as well as verbal language, and address the objections head on. 

When you are paying attention to your potential client, you can learn to recognize a bad sales call in the making and take a different tactic. You can reset the tone of the conversation and steer it to a more productive and honest dialogue. A bad sales call always has the potential to turn around.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.