What constitutes a perfect sales call?
Most of us would be quick to answer, “A perfect sales call is when the buyer says ‘yes’ and signs the order.” We are all hungry for that next sale, the next order, the next new customer. In fact, the vast majority of new businesses that fail do so because of a lack of sales.
So while it would be hard to refute the logic, I think there is more to the perfect sales call than just getting the order. For example, a perfect sales call could be when the prospect says ‘no’ very early in the call. You don’t waste time chasing rainbows, and can move on to the next deal. However, would you really feel a sense of accomplishment if the end result was a no? Probably not.
“What if it all goes right?” – Mendhi Audlin
I love the thought process that goes into the title from Mendhi Audlin’s book. What if it does all go right? Are you enjoying this level of success and personal fulfillment in your selling activities? What does it feel like to have everything go right? In a previous article I talked about the 7 ways that you could be sabotaging your sales efforts. In this article I want to share some thoughts on the perfect sales call and how to make it a reality.
Let’s start with my definition of a perfect sales call. “A perfect sales call is one that satisfies the objectives of both parties, and concludes with a positive outcome.” Now right out of the gate, we can eliminate the ‘prospect says no early in the call’ from our list of perfect sales calls. Why? Because even though a ‘no’ response will save us time, resources, etc., the goal of any sales call, perfect or otherwise, should be to move the prospective buyer closer to a ‘yes’ decision.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
I was fortunate to enjoy great success throughout my sales career. Much of my success can be attributed to the extraordinary sales training I received, in addition to my in-depth preparation and planning approach. It’s from this experience that I want to share (7) tips I believe can help make the perfect sales call a reality for you.
- Be clear on the goal. What is the desired outcome you hope to accomplish on the call? Define it and then work backwards to determine the steps and talking points to help you get there.
- Perfect the mental approach. I firmly believed that I had a 50% chance of making a sale before I picked up the telephone to make an appointment. If I was able to secure an appointment, the odds increased to 75%, and if I spent more than 30 minutes with the prospect on the initial call, my odds went up to 90%. Adopt a similar approach to help increase your odds of success.
- Always have a written agenda. This is an absolute must. Never make a sales call without a prepared agenda. It will help you look professional, stay on topic, keep your energy level up, and enable you to move crisply through the talking points. Get input and agreement from the prospect on the agenda items in advance to ensure your mutual objectives are satisfied during the call.
- Build consensus throughout. Think of each item on the agenda as a checkpoint to move you closer to an eventual sale. Make sure you and the prospective client are in lock step as you move ahead, so your sales call doesn’t get derailed.
- Deal with any issues upfront. If there is any push back or issues that arise during the call, don’t duck them. Address them upfront, gain agreement to the resolution or follow-up required and move forward.
- Always confirm the next steps. Why? Because confirmation is an affirmation that you are establishing a value bridge with the buyer, and making progress toward your end goal of completing the sale.
- Keep the fire burning. Whether the perfect sales call ends in a new sale or not, by definition, make sure the outcome is positive. Sales people are at their best when they have had a great call. And success breeds success, so build on it while you’re hot!
BONUS TIP: Don’t allow yourself to get drawn into a point – counterpoint discussion with the buyer if competition is involved. It provides them with free advertising and dilutes your value proposition. Focus instead on the merits of your recommended solution and its intrinsic value to the organization.
In closing, making a perfect sales call is a rarity and doesn’t happen overnight. However, we can all get better and achieve greater success by making sales excellence a habit. The prospective buyer will recognize and appreciate the difference.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2020 John Carroll