How to prepare for a sales call
I never recommend having a “script” in front of you, but I always recommend coming prepared to a sales call. That means having a general outline of how the conversation will go, knowing what questions to ask, and knowing how to close the deal. Once you go through these exercises once, you should have a good framework for all future calls. As you practice, it will become easier and easier until it becomes second nature.
Prepare to find the need. The first thing you should do on every sales call, before EVER pitching your services, is to find out exactly what the customer needs. In order to do this, have a list of questions prepared. These questions are ones that you will need to know the answer to, in order to provide them with a proper recommendation or quote.
Know your value statements. Do you know why your product or service is the best? Can you concisely tell me in one or two sentences? If the answer is no, get to work brainstorming a few value statements you can throw in the conversation, so the client understands exactly why you’re the right person to fit their needs.
Know who you’re for and who you’re not for. Not every client will be the right client. Spend some time figuring out exactly who you want to work with, what that ideal looks like, and what the ideal client does NOT look like. That way, if you’re on a call and finding the client doesn’t exactly match what you’d be looking for (ex. Very low budget, needing too much for the price, out of your service area), you can either let them know or plan to not spend time following up. This way, you’re not chasing people who aren’t right for you and can focus your time and energy on those who are.
Prepare for objections. Whether it be price or some other reason a client will say no, you’re likely to have some push-back. The best way to overcome these objections is to expect that they will come, prepare for them, and see them as an opportunity to provide more value. Take some time and write out any objections you’ve ever gotten or expect to get in the future. Then, think of ways you can overcome those objections by turning them into something positive.
Ex. Objection: “Your prices are too high”. How to overcome? Let them know why your prices are higher than your competitors - why your service is better, and what they will lose out on by skimping on price. When you get really good at this, you can start slipping in those statements before you even get the objection, and overcome their resistance off the bat.
Prepare to ask for the sale. Know what you’re going to say when asking for the sale. Make it as easy as possible for the client to say “yes”. Assume they are going to say yes, and then ask for the sale in a way that implies you’re excited to be working together.
Know your next steps. The objective will likely be to close the client on the call. If they’re not ready to close, know what next steps are on how you will follow up. You don’t want to be sitting there in a week, wondering if you should message that client again or not. You should make a verbal agreement with the client as to when and how you’re going to follow up, so they expect it, and anticipate giving you a yes or no answer at that time.
Prepare to follow up. If you don’t follow up, you’re wasting a golden opportunity. Don’t assume that because a client hasn’t gotten back in touch, that they’re not interested. Don’t assume you’re bugging the client by following up - you’re doing them a service! If you don’t ask, its always a no, so better to give yourself a chance for a ‘yes’! You should have a set plan in place (ex. I will follow up 3 days after via email, if I don’t hear then I will follow up again 2 days after that via phone) If you do step #5, #6 becomes MUCH easier.
BONUS: Prepare to ask for referrals!! If a client is excited to work with you, it doesn’t hurt to ask if anyone they know is looking for the same service. The worst they could say is no, and then you move on. Best case scenario, they’ll have a list of people who you can reach out to and close!