When you pick up that phone to make a sales call, you are in control right?
You’ve made the decision on when to call, and you’ve decided who it is you’re going to be calling.
But are you going to control the conversation?
Whatever time you have spent learning about your products, identifying and refining your target marketing, strategizing personas and researching the competition, it all comes down to the moment you pick up the phone and engage with your potential buyer.
In sales, it’s never been enough to just show up.
64% of all sales calls are unsuccessful. Here’s why:
When it comes to the conversation itself, nothing has been planned. Without a detailed plan of what the call is supposed to achieve and the kinds of outcomes that are desired, the salesperson is likely to squander that opportunity in front of them.
You can’t reach that end goal if you don’t know where you’re going. You need to know those desired outcomes, identify any hurdles and spot those potential pitfalls before you begin a call, otherwise you’ll have no chance of crossing the finishing line.
Without a plan, how will you show the business executive you’re speaking with that you have insight to bring to the conversation and value to add to the interaction?
Having a plan for your sales calls is vital
Of course, there are those salespeople who’ll tell you “I think on my feet.” Some of them do have a natural ability to process and respond to scenarios more quickly than others, but they still don’t have a clear end goal or a plan to get them there.
Then there are those veterans who think they’ve handled every possible variation of the sales call, and they can anticipate exactly how each one will go. They’ve done the same thing over and over again, so they don’t need a plan. So why aren’t they achieving better success rates?
The figures speak for themselves, and the fact remains that a lack of preparation turns off two thirds of business executives before the call has barely progressed.
Without a plan, the salesperson will not create value on the call. Without adequate preparation, your value as a potential relationship and the value of your products will be questioned at best, or more likely damaged beyond repair.
When you’ve wasted the time of an executive, one of their most precious commodities, the chances of getting them to commit to the next step is greatly diminished. You’ll find it an uphill battle to get hold of that contact again, your calls will be screened and if you do win any business, there’s a good chance you will have done so by competing on price. Congratulations on winning the race to the bottom!
Any customer loyalty you were hoping for has been rejected because of the purchase experience.
Make your sales calls matter
When you have an effective plan for your sales calls you can:
- Nurture those relationships
- Overcome any stumbling blocks
- Advance the sale
- Add value and satisfaction
Good plans are impressive; a potential client will appreciate them. A good plan shows you’ve taken the time to develop a thoughtful, logical and mutually beneficial approach, and invested time into the relationship before it has begun.
That makes a difference.
You’ve ensured that your customer has gotten more from the call than they expected. That’s satisfying, and means they won’t feel like their time has been wasted. In fact, the call has been valuable, that all-important magic word.
Know what your customer expects, make a plan, and exceed those expectations; then you’ll be on the right track to closing the sale.