There are not many people who like sales calls. Actually, I know a few who like it. Salespeople, especially, don’t like “cold calls”, calls to unknown people. This is normal as facing rejections is not easy. Even when you don’t take things personally, hearing “no” many times during the day influences your overall emotion and mental state.
At the beginning of my career I was a field sales engineer and a minimum 50% of my work was done via phone. My job was to “open” new clients and to keep and improve the relationship with existing ones.
This article is written as a result of basic training for our colleagues, who joining our team in last few months, and the request of a friend of mine for few tips and tricks for effective sales calls. Five questions that are in front of you are the questions I used through my career, improved by the knowledge and experience that I gain as professional trainer and coach. Here they are…
1. Do you have a sales call strategy?
A key approach for effective sales calls is having a strategy. Any strategy is better than no strategy. When I say strategy I mean a structure with key check points. I would avoid scripts as you might sound like a robot. Having a script might put you to use specific terms and phrases that may not always be in context. Always have in mind that you have a person on the other side, with individual needs and wants. If you are not able to address those needs and wants through what you will say, most probably your call will not be successful. On the other hand, if you have well-planned checkpoints for your sales call, you can have an individual approach to your clients and still be sure that you are on the right track.
2. Do you have clear sales call objectives?
Do your best to plan each sales call. Start with the objective. What it is that you want to achieve until the end of your sales call? Normally, it won’t be to introduce yourself, describe your product and make a sale all in a single sales call. Typically, it should be limited to one outcome that is not under your control. It should be something that your client will do as a result of your sales call. So if your objective is to set up a meeting, adjust your approach to this goal and stick to it. Avoiding getting drawn into a discussion outside of this objective will improve your success rate and help you to earn credibility, as the client will recognize that you are also a busy professional. So, ensure that you accomplish something on each sales call, and you can hold your head high with a sense of achievement. Remember, a decision of any type is better than chasing someone who will waste your time with misleading statements that cause you to believe there’s a chance, when, in fact, there’s not.
3. Do you understand what are you selling?
I don’t want to spend your time on explaining why the answer on this question is important. My opinion is that sales people often underestimate the importance of having enough knowledge of product or service, company that they are representing or overall market. Please, do your homework and get prepared for your sales call. It’s hard enough to get your client interested in talking to you, you don’t want to waste the opportunity by being unprepared for the sales call.
4. Do you understand why would your client have the need for your product or service?
Every product or service can have a great value when matched with the right customer. Are you convinced in the value of your product or service? Did you try it? Would you invest your own money in it? If you don’t believe what you’re selling has real value, you should be selling something else. Personal experience makes a difference. Whenever is possible, before you sell something do your best to try the product or service by yourself. Besides that do the research of potential client. If you address the most important points that are directly related to your potential client’s needs, you might get the appointment. If you fail in this, the door might stay close for a long time.
5. Are you able to maintain a positive attitude?
Always have in mind that you are the key to your sales success. You as a sales engineer, entrepreneur, marketing specialist, call center agent or executive. Align your thinking and action in the right way and your sales calls success ratio will grow. This means being able to bounce back from rejection – salespeople experience a lot of it. It means being able to believe in what you do so you can throw yourself into selling with enthusiasm, ethics and effectiveness.
“Stop for a few seconds and create a clear mental picture of yourself as completely relaxed, calm, positive, smiling, and in complete control of the interview. Then inhale deeply, filling up your lungs and putting pressure on your diaphragm. Hold this breath for a count of seven and exhale for a count of seven. While you are breathing deeply, continue to hold a picture of yourself as the very best salesperson you could possibly be.”
― Brian Tracy, The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible
If you follow these questions, you will be more successful in the sales call. In case you want to get more knowledge and get the structure of a professional call – take a look HERE