3 Steps to Failing Your Next Sales Call

November 3, 2014 Scott Lombardi

3 Steps to Failing Your Next Sales CallThe sales call is what every sales rep strives for-having a face-to-face meeting with a prospective client. After building the client relationship up to this point, you finally have a few moments to pitch your product or service and try to close a sale. If you have made it up to this point in the buying cycle, there's a good chance that you will make a sale and make some cash. However, if you're not careful, you can completely blow this prime opportunity-here are three steps to failing your next sales call, and how to avoid them.

1. You Are Not Prepared

Sometimes you have a lot on your plate. You're juggling many different accounts and trying to attend to everyone's needs. It makes sense, then, that when the time comes for a sales call, you might not be totally and completely prepared and organized.

Unfortunately, this can cost you your sale-and after all the time you spent getting the client to meet with you, this is the last thing that you want. If you're unprepared, your client will immediately notice. You haven't researched his company, objectives, or needs well enough, you forgot to bring your samples, you didn't prepare an agenda with talking points, or you walked into the meeting late. Disorganization and unpreparedness will look bad on you and your company as a whole.

Being prepared shows the client that you care about his business-and you do! So show him the respect he deserves by having your sales call planned out and not wasting his time.

2. You Don't Nurture the Relationship

You have likely built a strong relationship with your client up until now to be able to get a meeting. You can't stop nurturing now! Your job isn't finished yet, so you need to continue to build a strong relationship during your face-to-face meeting.

Instead of just pitching your product or service on your sales call, be empathetic to the client, ask him questions, and listen. The client will likely still have doubts and concerns, and wants to feel like you are taking care of him, listening to his concerns, and appeasing his doubts. Once you have solidified a bond with the client, through mutual respect and trust, you will be able to close the sale much easier.

3. You Don't Know When to Close the Sale

A top sales rep will start subtly closing a sale at the beginning of a sales call. He will get a conditional commitment to buy right from the start, so he knows he isn't wasting time on a client who isn't willing to, or cannot, buy right now.

Additionally, good sales people can tell through indirect cues, like strong eye contact, a relaxed pose, and unconscious nodding, when the client is ready to buy-this is when the sales rep should stop pitching, and start closing. Other, more obvious clues include increased questions about the product, discussions on payment methods and delivery, or requests for further product or service demonstrations. If you don't close at this point, you might lose your opportunity.

Just as importantly, though, trying to close a sale too early when none of these cues have come up can make you seem pushy and make you lose the sale.

Learning when to close the sale is the most important step in the sales call, so make sure you do it right!

Your Opportunity to Shine

Your client has finally agreed to a sales call. That's great! After all, that's what you were hoping for. This is your opportunity to shine and make some money. Don't ruin your next sales call by being unprepared, not nurturing the relationship with the client, or not knowing when to close the sale. You might never have a chance to meet with that client again if things don't go well, so make sure your sales call goes smoothly and flawlessly.

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