Let’s face it; almost every salesperson has bombed a sales call at some point in their career. Whether you forgot to ask an important question or were caught off guard by a prospect’s question or attitude, not every sales call is guaranteed to go smoothly. So it’s important to go in prepared. After all, like the old Head & Shoulders commercial, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
In this article, we’re taking you back to school for a refresher on the anatomy of a successful sales call. From prepping to closing, below is everything that you need to know to make a lasting impression:
1. Pre-Call Prep
What you do prior to a call will determine your success. Every sales call is different, so first outline what you want to achieve, whether it’s learning more about the prospect’s needs or actually closing the deal. Next, spend ample time researching the prospect, their business, and their industry. Then jot down three interesting points you can interject into the conversation. Lastly, remember to have all materials, brochures, and contracts handy.
2. Set the Tone
The next important step is setting the tone for the call. The last thing you want is to come off as just another pushy salesperson, so try to make a personal connection right away using the research you conducted prior to the call. For example, congratulate them on the new series of funding they received. Then let them know what to expect so they will relax and let their guard down.
3. Qualify the Buyer
Once you’ve built a good rapport with your buyer, start asking questions that will help you understand their specific needs. Find out what process they normally go through when considering a new vendor and what type of budget they are working with. What’s more, ask what their short-term and long-term goals are, as well as their biggest challenges.
4. Pitch Your Product
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re ready for the actual pitch. Take all of your prior research and information you’ve gathered during the call to position your product in a way that directly addresses the buyer’s needs. Remember not to sell your product’s features, but focus on the benefits. Use phrases like “ We can solve your X challenge by offering you Y” and “ We’re going to save you X amount of dollars each month by doing Y” to add value.
5. Follow Up
After the call, make sure you promptly follow-up with another phone call or email. In your follow-up, make sure that you recap any important points that were discussed and provide valuable material such as a case study, white paper, or product spec sheet that will help the buyer in making a decision.