9 Essential Steps to a Successful Sales Call

In a digital world rife with screen addiction, the old-fashioned phone call has become something of a lost art. No longer dependent on actual conversation in order to keep in touch, people are texting more than ever and avoiding the potential awkwardness that may ensue when speaking to another human being.That’s why salespeople have a very difficult job to do.

In a digital world rife with screen addiction, the old-fashioned phone call has become something of a lost art. No longer dependent on actual conversation in order to keep in touch, people are texting more than ever and avoiding the potential awkwardness that may ensue when speaking to another human being.That’s why salespeople have a very difficult job to do. There isn’t a specific approach that makes a sales call successful, but following a consistent structure can certainly increase your chances of success. Here are a few things you should include in every sales call you make:

1. Prepare

First things first: make sure you know the person(s) and/or business you are going to talk to. At the very least, visit the company’s website to get a better understanding of what they’re all about, but don’t be afraid to look up background info if necessary. Once you feel confident enough, create a calendar invite for a Zoom conference call in advance (if possible, make it a video call so you can talk face-to-face).

2. Break The Ice

Set things off by relating to people on a human level. Ask them about sports, a hobby they might have, or how things are going in their industry. It should go without saying but avoid any controversial topics and keep things as clean as possible.

3. Set an Agenda

Once you’ve exchanged pleasantries, lay out what topics you want to cover during your call. Seek input and be sure to be conscious of the other party’s time. Make sure that the expectations you set are reasonable for everyone before proceeding with the next steps.

4. Find Out Their Why

As a salesperson, your why for the call is obvious. The potential client’s may not be as clear. Stat out by finding the pain point that made them accept the call. Do they want to talk about prices or there other issues they want to discuss? Now is the time to find out.

5. Give a Strong Pitch

State the value proposition of your company in a succinct, direct way. This should last no longer than 30 seconds. Remember that thing about screen addiction? People’s attention spans are getting shorter, so cut through the fat and get straight to the point!

6. Ask Discovery Questions

While you might have found the paint point that encouraged them to accept the call, don’t assume that’s the only issue you can solve. Poke around a bit to see if you can find out what other pain points they might be struggling with. Create a list of discovery questions to help you find what they’re looking for, but also to push them towards the solutions your company can offer.

7. Offer Solutions

Once you’ve learned all their pain points, pair each of them with a solution your company can offer. Relay them to the client systematically, but make sure not to overwhelm them. You’re here to help but offering a hundred solutions isn’t helpful (even if you have them). Make it clear that you can help relieve their pain, but don’t try to do too much.

8. Establish Next Steps

Once they know what you can offer them, let them know what comes next—how they can access the solutions you proposed, what information you need from them, and when they can expect the solution to be in place. Follow up your call with an email that restates this information and confirms that they understand what they need to do to continue the process.

9. Present an Agreement

This step is perhaps the most obvious. It’s so obvious, in fact, that most salespeople will jump straight to it. Prices, contract duration, and other logistics, while important, should wait till the end of your call. If you’ve sold your solutions effectively, the client will be much more willing to accept the prices that you offer.Each of these steps is vital to a successful sales call. Salespeople who can implement each in their conversations with potential customers will see more closed sales and a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Stephen Seaman

Stephen is the co-founder and COO of Swipesum. A resident of St. Louis since 2014, Stephen loves local microbreweries and ping pong.

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