Photo of John Green

Sales Call Preparation: Step-by-Step Tips

sales call preparationYou have before you a solid list of leads.

But before you begin…

Your sales call preparation is key.

Here are the steps you should take to get yourself ready, and set, to GO…

1. Research the Prospects

Doing some homework on your prospects can pay serious dividends. You can conduct sales research using LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, and other tools to learn valuable information, relatively quickly.

Start by doing a quick Google Search of the company, and be sure to read (or at least browse through) their website’s “About” page, company bios, and other relevant information. Then, browse through their LinkedIn profiles, noting common connections, groups, and their recent activities.

Checking your prospect’s Twitter account, as well as the social media profiles of their company can give you valuable leverage as well. Their recent Tweets may give you the inside scoop on some of their interests, issues, and recent successes.

By doing this “homework” on prospects, you can find common ground between you and your prospect, which will help turn those cold calls into warm leads.

Connections are like currency in sales.

Find a connection and you can totally change the dynamic of your conversation.

Even if you aren’t able to find common ground, the added knowledge may be useful during your call… and at the very least will give you some added confidence that’s bound to shine through. It’s much less daunting to call someone when you have a good picture of who they are and what they’re all about.

2. Identify Your Objective

It’s much easier to get somewhere when you know exactly where you’re going. Sales calls are no different.

Are you calling to make an appointment, conduct a demo, send out information, or do you want to make a sale over the phone? This objective will be crucial to how you’ll navigate the call.

Understand your primary objective, as well as the possible secondary outcomes you’d be okay with. For example, if you can’t make the sale over the phone, your “plan b” is to make an appointment for a product demo.

Have these objectives and outcomes in mind before making the call.

3. Craft Your Personal Greeting and Pitch

The success or failure of a call hinges on how you open it.

No wonder research is so important. Having an idea what your prospect wants, what they struggle with, who they compete with, or connections you share are integral to crafting your opening.

It’s also important that you don’t waste time getting into “what’s in it for them.” Address the hot-button issue or benefit right off the bat, as this inevitably opens up room for a conversation.

Imagine you’re selling your home, and your phone rings. When you answer, you hear…

“Good evening, Mr. Smith. This is Paul from Ace Home Inspections. The reason I’m calling is that seller-paid home inspections were recently found to help sell homes for 3 to 6% more than waiting for a buyer to inspect. I understand you’re looking to sell your home?”

A specific, hot-button opening like this is going to arouse the curiosity of a lot of sellers. It’s pretty tough to respond with “sorry, I’m not interested.”

Think about the person you’re calling and what you can do for them. Then craft a short and powerful opening that’s sure to pique their interest.

4. Prepare for Possible Objections

When it comes to sales calls, you should expect to face a hesitations or objections.

Whether it’s “This sounds good, but we don’t want to do it right now,” or “We just don’t have the money.” Or, “can you send me something.”

Lay out possible objections beforehand, and know how you want to reply to them.

There is a very important added benefit to doing this. Identifying points of skepticism, hesitation, and objection will help you craft a more compelling and value-creating opener – and one that should the amount of objection you can expect to face.

5. Have Your Voicemail (and Emails) Ready

Contrary to popular belief, the voicemail box is not a “black hole of diminishing returns.” An effective sales voicemail will open the door for more callbacks, and more business to come your way.

Take the time to prepare a strong voicemail that you know will pique your prospects interest. A good email will do the same thing.

With PhoneBurner, you can leave a voicemail and send an email with the click of a button.

6. Get Yourself in the Right Mindset

Don’t start making calls if all you’re doing is dreading the word “no.”

Your attitude and frame of mind is critical to your success. Understand that not everyone is right for what you offer. Understand that MOST sales take place after multiple contacts. In other words, “no” is just a stop on the way to “yes.”

Do you what you need to do (pushups, drink water, stretch, listen to “We Are The Champions”) to get yourself positive and pumped to start helping people.

Then pick up the phone…

What are some ways you prepare to make cold calls? Do you think we missed any? Tweet us or leave a comment below and let us know.