How to Prepare for Impressive Sales Call in 5 Simple Steps?
It is not about how many calls you make. It is about how well you prepare before every call you make. – #DemandGeneration Tweet Book
Ringing up complete strangers who are key decision-makers and convincing them to set up an appointment is no easy task. While picking up the phone and starting the conversation might sound dreadful; turning cold calls into actual sales calls is both terrifying and exciting. It needs confidence, intense knowledge and skills, and an undying spirit even on hearing the intimidated ‘no’.
If you are into sales calling for some time now and still spend time playing the numbers game, chances are you haven’t had many an exciting instances of closing profitable sales or setting up lucrative appointments except only the saddening ones. This is simply because you are only achieving high volume and not necessarily high quality. Don’t worry – even seasoned salespeople make this mistake and, thus, shudder at the thought of rejection in sales calling.
We cannot escape sales calling. After all, 92% of all customer interactions take place via phone. But we can certainly make it yield better results by exercising ‘call smart’. We are here to rescue you from sales-call horror. Here are five sure-shot preparation techniques that will turn any cold call into a hot lead:
- Planning: A proper thought-upon plan conceived well in advance before making actual call is the first step towards ensuring a great start. Plan carefully and decide who you will be calling and when. Planning will increase your chances of reaching the right person in the organization at the right time, thereby leading to more sales-call success. Having a plan, instead of a script, in place will also make sure you don’t sound robotic and will help you during impromptu discussions.
For making a call at an appropriate time:
Prospecting calls with highly influential people in an organization must be set-up between 8:00 to 9:00 AM or 4:00 to 5:00 PM, while specifically avoiding the break time-period from 1:00 to 2:00 PM. While every day is a prospecting day, the most success rates come when sales calls are made on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Researching: No matter how tedious it may seem but researching well about the person you are going to call is not optional but the most necessary aspect of making a call. According to the Brevet Group, 78% of salespeople who use social media outsell their peers. So, while investigating about the person, consider both print and online media. Take help from written publications, people in prospect’s organization and also, Google search about prospect’s company and go through his LinkedIn profile. Use other search-engine channels and forum posts, like ZoomInfo, for collecting as much information about the prospect as possible. Chances are you will not use all the information gathered but more the data, more the confidence you will exude while on the call.
For having long, fruitful conversations:
A detailed research will provide you with more talking points with the prospect, thereby giving you more opportunities to having in-depth 30-minute long discussions with the prospect than having futile 2-minute conversations. In appointment-setting arena, higher-quality interaction will make sure that prospect shows up for scheduled meeting interested.
- Listening: We have been taught since our childhood days that communication does not only mean speaking but listening too. In the arena of cold calling, listening has a major role. Imagine a sales professional calls you and starts telling you about a new plan or scheme his company has launched. Without knowing it from you whether you are interested or needy, he will waste your as well as his time. Not to mention, you will become a repulsive, foregone case. You surely don’t want it to happen with your prospects. Too many salespeople still don’t get it. As per a study, only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs. Take a cue and listen to your prospects to know about their needs or problems and then, stand a better chance of selling the solution.
For sounding genuine and interested:
When making a call, make sure you listen intently to the prospect about his needs and then, try to fit in your offerings accordingly with on-the-spot tailoring of your pitch.
- Educating: To enable yourself educate the prospect with insights and new ideas, you need to have an in-depth knowledge about your company and offerings as well as your prospect’s company and requirements. Not all interested prospects will be same – some might be interested in knowing your pricing, others in knowing technical specifications, and others might simply get persuaded by your creative sales pitch. For any case, be well armed with information.
For adding value to your sales pitch:
It is essential to spend time mastering your sales techniques and handling rejections but it is equally important to have knowledge about your offerings and how these can be of value to your prospects.
- Practicing: Just like any other skill, sales call is something which, when done again and again, can be improvised. Every sales call is your opportunity to finding a customer or setting an appointment with a key decision-maker. Thus for every call, practice either in front of a mirror or try speaking in front of your friends or colleagues. In real time, we communicate most of the times through non-verbal means. In phone calls, this is replaced with voice pitch, tone, stress, intonation, and warmth through smiling and confidence through posture. Make sure you take care of all these things too.
For on-the-phone effective tonal communication:
To instantly boost up your confidence while making the actual call, you can stand up from your chair to sound confident and energetic over the phone or make sure you sit in a straight and strict posture on the chair. When talking on phone, 27% of communication is verbal and 73% is tonal. So, take care of how you sound on phone.
Sales calling can be daunting when executed keeping in mind only the numbers. By cleverly using your time in preparing well before every call you make than wasting time in making blind calls, you can ensure better quality and more success. Follow the above steps and make sales calling an exciting process for you and a rewarding one for your company.