I get my fair share of sales calls and honestly, 9 out of 10 are total train wrecks.
If you make a living doing sales calls and are not meeting your quota, it might be because you are making these common mistakes below—which are the kiss of death for any prospecting call.
4 Steps To Better Sales Calls
Here's what you need to do when you make a sales call to me (or anyone else, for that matter):
Quick – you have 10 seconds.
OK, I answered your call instead of letting it go to voicemail.
Now tell me what you do and why I should care in 1 sentence and in under 10 seconds.
Something like this:
Hi Bob, my name is Thomas with the Michael Management Corporation. We deliver online SAP training that allows our clients to train more people in less time for half the cost of traditional classroom training.
Now I can decide if your opening value statement is interesting enough for me to continue the call. You better have something valuable for me, otherwise it's ‘good-bye, click'.
Notice the 3 underlined pain points above – I know that these are the top challenges for our prospects in our industry. You need to know these for your prospects/industry.
Do not rattle off a list of your product's features.
Amateurs do this a lot. Ditch the pitch and forget your product's features. Instead, convert these features into benefits for me. Put these on a piece of paper and put them in your back pocket. I do not need to hear about these right now.
Don't tell me…
…about your company, your great customer service, your history, your awards. I don't care one bit at this moment. If or when I seriously consider your offer I'll vet your company, your customer service, your reputation, testimonials and awards. But not in the beginning of the sales process.
Listen more than you talk.
I had a sales call once where the rep talked for 7 minutes straight. Seriously, 7 minutes. That's enough time to check my email, make a sandwich and write down a couple of thoughts for this article.
Instead, ask me open-ended questions, then shut up and listen. You need to find out if I have a perceived problem with xyz (i.e. no time or budget to train my staff). Then you need to find out if I want to fix the problem (I might have 10 other issues I want to fix first) and how I would want to fix it.
Now you can pull out the benefits list of your product and tell me how it would solve my issue in the way I just described.
Do these 4 things and you'll do better than 90% of all sales reps.
Your turn now. What are some of the other things sales reps should do or stop doing? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
Thomas Michael is the CEO of the Michael Management Corporation, a leader in online SAP training. Tom is a published author, has been interviewed for the Wall Street Journal, appeared in INC magazine, Entrepreneur's Organization and LinkedIn Pulse, and has written numerous articles and white papers covering a variety of leadership topics. Additionally, he is a sought-after speaker at national conferences and other venues.
Tom lives in Manhattan, brews his own beer, and enjoys talking about building better businesses. Follow him at @ListenToThomas.