Sales professionals everywhere set themselves up to fail by neglecting proper sales call preparation. Don’t be one of them. Here are ten of the most important things you can do to prepare for your next sales call.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
So why in the world would most sales professionals show up unprepared? You see it all the time—they dash in from the parking lot with a handful of color brochures but no plan on how to engage. Or they relentlessly work the phones only to discover that they’ve offered nothing more than hollow chitchat.
Why do so many sales reps fail to prepare for their sales calls? Because it is easier to talk about you, your company, and your products than it is to prepare to have a conversation about them.
Have an Open and Honest Dialogue
Here’s the big question: what are you doing to prepare, and if your clients knew you were doing it, would they be more inclined to have an open and honest dialogue with you?
The next time you meet with a prospect or client, begin the conversation with this simple phrase: “In preparing for this meeting, I took some time to…”
Then simply highlight the two or three critical things that you did to prepare and watch what happens to the atmosphere of the call.
You will blow away the last rep who opened their meeting by announcing that they were just “checking in” to see if anything new was going on.
The less you talk about yourself, the more you have to prepare to talk about them. And the more you talk about them, the more likely they will be interested in you.
Maybe it’s not exactly the secret formula you were hoping for. It is actually a pretty obvious formula—so obvious that most sales reps ignore it. Here are ten key elements that you can use to create your own successful pre-call habits.
10 Ways To Prepare For Your Next Sales Call
Learn About Their Business
Learn about their business—their products/services, customers, industry trends, key initiatives, financial status, and competition.
Discover something about the person you are meeting with. Google them, talk to their colleagues, or call others in the industry who have insights.
Define The Purpose
Define the exact purpose of this call. What are the goals for this interaction?
Identify The Benefits
Identify the benefits of your meeting. The benefits need to be clear, concise, credible and compelling!
Prepare to Add Value
Prepare ideas that hold value for your customer. Your language needs to reflect a focus on solutions…not on your latest product!
Communicate an outline of your meeting prior to the appointment. Ask them to review and provide you with feedback. Getting their buy-in before you walk in the door is critical, and it demonstrates your commitment to delivering value.
Reduce Resistance and Reluctance
Identify the resistance that you are most likely to encounter and prepare ideas, case studies, testimonials or expert opinions to help reduce their reluctance to move forward.
Plan The End of Your Call
Plan how you will end the meeting or call and decide what agreements you need to ask for.
Be Kind, Build Trust
Remind yourself to be warm, friendly and courteous to everyone that you encounter. Your prospects are constantly deciding how much they like you, how much they believe you, how much they trust you and how much confidence they have in you.
It takes time—often a long time—to build your personal brand. And it takes only a few seconds for it to be destroyed.
The determination to win is important in selling…but the determination to prepare to win is an essential part of getting to the top!
Top sales reps are getting through to more prospects on cold calls by leveraging sequencing campaigns. Find out how in our FREE GUIDE.
About the author
Tim Wackel is one of today’s most popular sales speakers because he makes information…