Do you remember your first sales call as a Professional Salesperson? We were discussing this with our sales training partners in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria recently. What was your most important goal in that meeting? As one Salesperson told me “I just wanted to get through it without throwing up!” Other than holding down breakfast, what did you want to accomplish with the decision maker?
Feeling nervous and intimidated on that first call as a Salesperson is a very good sign. It shows that we care and want to do go a good job. Our fear is the decision maker will quickly realize that we are new to the role and we’ll say something stupid and lose the opportunity to do business with the buyer.
What did you do before your first sales call?
You prepared. You thought about the agenda for the call. You asked your Sales Manager for the history of the account and decision maker you were meeting. You made a list of questions you wanted to ask and anticipated what questions you might be asked. You practiced your talking points and delivery. If you did these well, you probably had a great call and walked out feeling good about the meeting.
So why not do this on all sales calls? Pre-planning and preparation leads to trusted relationships with buyers and inevitably more sales.
Professional Salespeople do this on an ongoing basis regardless of their history with the buyer. While you develop your ability to handle unexpected topics of conversation with more experience, going on a call winging it is not an option.
Ask yourself these questions before a sales call
What would make this a great call? While making a sale is what we all want, longer sales cycles require many meetings and due diligence on your part. By setting specific expectations on each call, you will be able to measure the success of each client meeting.
Where is my client in the sales cycle? To reach any destination, you need to know where you are on your current journey. Great Salespeople know where the buyer is in the evolution of the sale.
What do I need to do to advance this sale? Some clients need more information than others in the investigation phase. Know who you’re dealing with and develop the right approach and strategy. Involving key influencers who will be part of the decision-making process at the start of the sales cycle may greatly assist in establishing a smooth transition toward a sale. Asking who those people are after gaining the confidence of your immediate contact follows the protocol of establishing a trusted relationship within the organization.
Ask yourself these questions after every sales call
How would I rate my call on a scale of 1 to 10 based on my expectations?
What was the highlight of the call?
What could I have done better?
What did I learn that I didn’t know before?
How did I advance the sale?
What’s the next step in the process?
By doing this, you are teaching yourself how to be more effective in each call. Self-assessment is the trademark of top-performing Salespeople. They constantly want to improve their ability to exceed their client’s expectations. If that happens, you win the trust of the client and make it easy to buy.
Take a lesson from what you did on your first sales call. You’ll build a sense of sales intuition and become skilled at knowing how to advance the sale based on the personality and thought process of your buyer. Great Salespeople are consistently open minded to learning new techniques no matter their years of experience. They have the approachability and desire to advance their skill set even after hundreds of calls.
If this describes you, please feel free to check out our online sales training The Sales Skills Incubator or our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money. If you liked this post, share it on your favorite social media platform. I’m always interested in reading your comments.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY