How to prepare for a sales call and turn cold leads into your best clients

A sales call is not about you, it’s about the person on the other end of the line.

Knowing that, is the first step when you  prepare for a sales call. The next step is knowing that sales is about relationships, so before the call, learn as much about them as you can, so that you can ask questions and talk about more than just business. Author William Clement Stone says, “sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.

Start the sales call off with a joke, some small talk about the weather, pets, or the area they’re located — it will loosen up everyone on the call. Take yourself seriously during the pitch, but not so seriously that you can’t make a friend along the way.

Just like preparing for a speech, think about the points you want to make. Do you want to read your sales pitch word-for-word, or would you prefer to prepare a few important points without reading off a script?

How to prepare for a sales call thoughtfully

1. Research your lead:

Learning about your lead is worth all of the time you spend doing it. If this is your ideal lead, get all of your facts about them, and their business. Heck, if they Tweet about their Goldendoodle on Twitter, and you have a Goldendoodle too, mark that down in your notes and find a way to bring his dog up when you first start talking. Take notes, draw an outline, create a bulleted list, etc. When you show that you’re engaged in them, they’ll be more engaged with you. Walking into a sales call empty-handed is a rookie mistake.

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client-managerOnce you’re prepared for your call, think about saving yourself hours a day with automated lead management software. Feed in leads automatically and start an automatic follow-up process. Sign up with Blitz today for a 30-day free trial.

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2. Outline and rehearse:

Put together an outline that’s organized and targets every point you want to present. Use it as a frame of reference when you speak to the lead, but don’t use it as a crutch. If you rehearse what you want to say, it’ll give you room to improvise throughout the conversation; however, if you rely on a written script to get you through the sales call, there’s a good chance you’ll dry up when questions are asked. Keep the outline in front of you while you’re on the phone. An organized, bulleted outline will make it easier for you to go back during the call and refresh your memory on any points you want to discuss.

3. Organize necessary materials:

When you’re on the phone with someone, have everything you’ll need right in front of you. Get your laptop cord and plug it in, keep your phone charger handy, let the dog out to pee—actually, you should probably use the bathroom too—and get yourself some water.

If you’re planning to use screen sharing software like WebEx, close your texting apps, instant messenger apps, mail apps, and anything else that might pop up an alert while you’re presenting. Forgetting can lead to some embarrasing conversations!

Finally, make sure you have everything you need to do the presentation: a notepad and pen (especially if you’re screen sharing and plan to take notes at some point), your bulleted list of talking points, and any marketing materials you refer to. For example, if you’re in a service-based business where you always get the ROI question, keep a list of case studies with real results and growth numbers you can cite.

4. Prepare your questions:

Sales are made when you tell a customer how your product solves their problem. Without knowing their problem, how can you solve it? Think of a few strong questions that will give you a feel for what their biggest pain points are, and then cater your presentation to those needs.

5. Be genuine:

It’s hard to be genuine and project confidence when you don’t prepare for a sales call using all the steps above. Even if you think you’ve played it off, that’s rarely the case. If you’re tired, burnt out, or genuinely have no interest in the lead, pass it to someone else. If you’re excited and rearing to go, don’t mask it, let them know! Think about it, why would you ever pay “the other guy” with the canned presentation, when this guy sounds like he was up all night thinking of your business, and has already come up with ten ways his service can help you specifically?

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client-managerOnce you’re prepared for your call, think about saving yourself hours a day with automated lead management software. Feed in leads automatically and start an automatic follow-up process. Sign up with Blitz today for a 30-day free trial.

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How do YOU prepare for sales calls? Please leave a comment and add to the discussion!