Lousy sales calls leave you with two unfortunate consequences:
- You make a poor impression on a prospect; and
- You hurt your personal morale.
If you're not careful, these two consequences can have far-reaching effects. Your next sales call isn't likely to be much better if you're already feeling defeated, and you won't likely make headway in the future with the company you just tried to contact.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent lousy sales calls, such as the following:
Do Your Research
Before you ever pick up the phone, get online and find out as much as you can about the person and the firm you'll be contacting. If you have the answers to the following questions, you'll be much better prepared to have a successful call.
- What is your contact's position?
- Who are the decision makers at the firm?
- Has the firm ever done business with you before? If yes, when?
- Who are your prospect's biggest competitors?
- What are your prospect's biggest challenges?
- Are there any big changes happening in your prospect's industry?
With answers to these questions, not only are you more prepared for your sales calls, but you also have plenty of relevant, insightful things to talk about as soon as you start your conversation, which brings us to our next tip.
Cut the Small Talk
When you reach your prospect, don't begin your conversation by asking, "How are you?" This isn't a social call. You're not calling to find out how their day is going. You've just interrupted your prospect's day, and you had better have a good reason for doing so.
Cut right to the chase by introducing yourself and explaining why you've called. If you need something friendly to say at the beginning of your conversation, but you don't want to make it sound like you're wasting time, try one of these:
- Good morning, Mr. Jones.
- Hi, Mr. Smith. This is Andy Garcia from [your organization].
- Did I catch you at a good time?
Talk About One or Two Benefits
Your prospects know right away what's in it for you (a sale), but they'll want to know what's in it for them. Instead of overwhelming your prospects and sabotaging your sales calls with huge lists of every potential benefit, focus on just one or two benefits based on your research.
By offering the one or two most important benefits to a prospect, you help them to focus on specific ways your products or services can help them to meet their goals. By giving your prospects tangible benefits during your sales calls, you'll be much more likely to catch their interest and make sales.
Lousy sales calls are avoidable. You can improve your sales calls by doing research ahead of time, cutting the small talk, and focusing your conversations on one or two specific benefits. If you do these things, not only will your sales calls be more successful, but you'll find yourself looking forward to your sales calls instead of dreading them. Improve your sales calls and enjoy more success!