A sales call is a great way to advance a relationship or close a deal. The key to a successful sales call is preparation. Going into a sales call without all of your ducks in a row can leave you scrambling to answer questions or meet objections. Any uncertainty or hesitation on your end will be perceived by the customer or prospect. If they sense that you're unprepared, any trust you've built up will be lost. At that point, you go from making a sales call to making a "try not to lose the customer" call. To help make sure you're prepared, here are three things to consider before making your next sales call.
Is the Prospect Ready?
Making a sales call too early in the buying process can push prospects away. Before making the call, you need to be sure that the person you're calling is interested in, and has a need for, your product or service. If the lead has been properly nurtured, they should be ready to buy right as you're making the call. If they aren't properly nurtured, then there's a good chance that you'll drive them away. The customer data you've collected should tell you exactly where the prospect is in the marketing funnel. It should also give you insights into exactly what they're looking for and what they're buying habits are. Without that information, you have no way of knowing if you're calling at the right time.
Are You Ready?
It can be tempting to let sales calls stack up, then make them all in a row. The problem is, you can easily fall into bad habits while doing this. You may start treating all of your calls the same, simply reciting the same script for each one. This ignores the individuality of your customers, and the experience they've come to expect. Prepare for each sales call individually, with a focus on the things that make each customer unique. Using this method, you'll find it far easier to connect with customers and build trust. An atmosphere of trust is essential to making the first sale and getting repeat business.
What Do You Want?
Vague goals lead to vague results. Before making any sales call, you need to know exactly why you're calling and exactly what outcome you're hoping to achieve. People are busy and typically don't like sales calls to begin with. When you call, they expect you to get to the point, and make it relevant to their interests. Knowing what you want before you start will make it easier to stay on track, and get the results you're after.
A lot of salespeople prefer to handle sales calls "on the fly." They essentially make things up as they go along. Unfortunately, this has been shown to have a negative effect on sales. Proper preparation is the key to a successful sales call. By considering these three points before making your next sales call, you'll be better prepared to close the deal.