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Preparation is the Key to Successful Sales Calls
Blog / Marketing / Jun 10, 2022 / Posted by Daniel Matthews / 48

Preparation is the Key to Successful Sales Calls

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One of the worst things you can do for a sales call is go into it unprepared. Lack of preparation adds more stress to an already high-pressure task, but it also turns prospects off. They can tell when you’ve wandered into unknown territory. Just like they can tell when you’ve thoroughly researched who they are and what they need.

The latter closes deals. And we want that for you. Preparing for a sales call beforehand will get you there. This article will discuss 14 tips for setting yourself up for a successful sales call.

Learn to Cope With Stress

Sales is one of the most stressful career options. Making sales calls, in particular, can add another level of stress to your day-to-day that can impact how well you do your job if you aren’t careful.

That stress can also affect the outcome of the call. Instead of letting workplace stress inhibit your productivity and ability to make great calls, learn to cope with it.

You can manage workplace stress by meeting with your boss weekly to discuss how you’re doing. Delegate tasks to make your workload more manageable. Keep your workstation organized, and show yourself grace.

Work on Your Mindset

Your mindset is crucial for successful sales calls. You’re going to get more no’s than yes’s. That’s just how things go. But unfortunately, most people have a hard time with no. They feel rejected, inadequate, and like they did something wrong.

There’s no time for these feelings in sales calls if you want to succeed. Forming an “on to the next one” mentality is essential. It will help you push through the no’s rather than let them stop you.

Identify Sales Call Boundaries

In working on your mindset, identify sales call boundaries as well. It’s just as important to know when to end a call as it is to know when to keep it going.

Make a mental note of when it’s appropriate to end a call. This could be when a prospect starts asking you personal questions or tries to pursue you romantically. It could also be when a prospect starts cursing at you.

Know your boundaries and be ready to stand firm on them.

Create a Routine That Gets You Ready for a Sales Call

Right before a sales call is when most people get incredibly nervous. Those nerves can carry over into your call, but not in a good way. Creating a routine that gets you hyped for your sales call is brilliant.

Create a short routine that gets your mind and heart ready for the call.

For example, you could implement a five-minute meditation session and follow it up with listening to your favorite song. You could create a list of affirmations you recite before dialing the phone number. Or it could be as simple as standing in front of a mirror and saying, “I got this.”

Carryover What You Learned From the Last Sales Call

You should always reflect on every sales call. In addition, you should be taking notes and documenting feedback on what you’re doing well and what you can improve in your calls. Then, implement what you learn from past calls into the next call.

You don’t have to implement every suggestion, tip, or trick thrown at you all at the same time. Instead, choose one or two you’re working on in the next few calls until you master them. Then, keep fine tuning and improving to boost your confidence.

Prepare For Objections

Objections are a natural part of any sales call. It isn’t a matter of if they come — it’s a matter of when. And when they do, you want to be adequately prepared to work through them.

The biggest objection you want to prepare for is the one most prospects are thinking in their mind: “why should I care?” You must be ready to tell a prospect why they should care about this call and what you offer them.

Each prospect’s objections will be different. That’s why it’s essential to do adequate research on them so you can brainstorm potential objections and come up with answers to them.

That said, still, be prepared for common objections like the following:

  • “I’m busy right now.”
  • “Is this a sales call?”
  • “I’m not interested.”
  • “How’d you get my number?”

Create Qualifying Questions

Qualifying questions are vital for any sales call. You need something in place that tells you whether this prospect is a qualified lead.

Asking them a few critical questions about their budget and needs can help you determine whether continuing the call is a good idea. Prospects will appreciate you not wasting their time if you know it will not be a good fit.

Design a Sales Call Script

Not having a script or outline for your call is a surefire way to run a prospect off a call with you. If you’re winging it, they’ll know.

A clear and compelling script is one thing all of the best sales calls have in common. They serve as a blueprint for a productive conversation with a prospect. It’ll also help reel you or the prospect in when the call gets off track.

You mustn’t read the script word for word when you get on a call, though. Instead, use it as an outline for what you want to discuss with the prospect and only refer to it when needed.

Define a Clear Purpose for the Call

Failing to define a clear purpose for your sales call is one of the most significant mistakes you can make. If you don’t know why you’re calling, don’t expect the prospect to figure it out for you.

Defining a clear purpose for the call can ensure you get the most out of the conversation. So, before you dial anyone’s number, note on your script or somewhere else visible what the ultimate goal is for the call.

Here are four examples of purposes for a sales call:

  • To make sale
  • To schedule a follow-up call
  • To schedule a demonstration
  • To get contact information for a decision-maker

Rehearse Your Opening Line and Introduction

You want to rehearse your entire sales call script often, but rehearsing your opening line and introduction is especially important. People decide within the first five to ten seconds of a call if they want to stay on it or not.

If you’re awkward or rambling about yourself in an introduction, they’re more likely to end the call quickly. Work on how you open your sales calls to hook them into the conversation and make them want to stay on the phone with you.

Ask Your Coworkers and Managers for Feedback

Your coworkers and managers are a great source of feedback to tap. So whether you’re rehearsing your opening line, refining your introduction, or want to practice your sales script, reach out to your colleagues for help.

The constructive criticism and feedback you get from them can help you improve your approach before making the actual call.

Practice Active Listening

Practice active listening with your coworkers and managers as well. It’s integral you don’t talk more than you listen in any sales call. You want your prospects to feel comfortable enough to speak their minds and know that you’re absorbing everything they’re saying.

Use your active listening skills in every conversation you have. Practice asking clarifying questions and paraphrasing what the other person is saying to leverage these things into your sales calls.

Have a Clear Understanding of the Product or Service You’re Selling

One of the most important parts of preparing for a sales call is understanding the product or service you’re selling. We aren’t talking about being able to recite features and phrases from your website.

We’re talking about deep knowledge of your product or service so that you can communicate to a prospect exactly how it can help them. When you can show the person on the other side of the call just how valuable your product or service can be in their life, they’re more likely to continue the relationship.

A clear understanding of the product and service you’re selling also shows that you’re knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Research the Prospect Before the Call

It’s also essential to do adequate research on a prospect before every call. You want to know as much about them as possible, just like the products or services you’re selling.

The more you know about your prospect, the easier it is to focus on their particular needs and pain points in the conversation. You can also better address the benefits the prospect can reap by going with you instead of the competition.

Spend a reasonable amount of time researching your prospect before the call. Go on their website, social media, and anywhere else they are online to learn more about them. Read press releases, blog posts, and watch any videos available.

Find any and everything you can on a prospect to go into your call with the utmost confidence. This will also help you tailor your pitch to the prospect’s unique needs instead of hitting them with a general offer and incentive.

Conclusion

If you want your sales calls to be successful, prepare for them. It’s as simple as that. Without preparation, you head into sales calls blind — and that’s never going to generate the results you want. So, use the tips above to get ready for and crush every sales call.

About Author

Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer from Boise, ID who has written for Social Media Today, Switch and Shift, Triple Pundit, and Jeff Bullas, among others. He specializes in company culture, sales and marketing, as well as tech, with a sprinkle of anything super-interesting in the world right now.

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