When selling on the phone, often times the problem sales reps have (or non sales people trying to sell) is they don't understand how to structure a call. If you don’t have the right plan going into a sales call, it’s going to be much harder to close the deal.
Every sales call, from a cold call until a closing call, should follow a pre-planned structure that is meant to optimize the likelihood of a desired result. That doesn’t mean there can’t be detours a long the way. It’s analogous to driving somewhere new the first time – you will almost always use google maps to give you a plan and direction. Then, each proceeding time you might use your directions a little less.A sales call, at any stage of the process should include these five steps:
Step # 1: Introduction
The goal of the introduction is very simple – talk to the prospect and get them in the right frame of mind. Create context and build rapport. Make sure they are present and engaged in the conversation before attempting to pitch anything.
- Did I catch you at a bad time?
- Do you have ‘x’ in front of you?
Step # 2: Questions
If this is a first sales call, this is where you qualify the lead. In later sales calls, this is when you ask deeper qualifying questions and do discovery in order to find out what has changed / happened since the last call and what the current status is.
- How are you currently doing ‘x'?
- What did your team think of the proposal you and I talked about on our last call?
Step # 3: The Pitch
You've had a successful introduction and asked all the important questions to reach real understanding of your propect. This is the part of the conversation where you offer your pitch. The pitch is not always going to be selling your entire product; rather it is going to be selling them on the objective of the call (i.e. a follow up call, an in person meeting, or a demo or a close). Your ‘questions’ should help prepare you for the pitch.
- We are going to streamline your process by…
- We are going to save you ‘x’ dollars each month by…
- We can solve your security challenge by...
Step # 4: Managing Objections
A prospect almost never bites on the pitch with no questions or concerns. So, during this part of the call you anticipate objections and manage and address them. Learn here how to manage any objection successfuly!
- This is something I hear pretty frequently, but here’s the thing…
- I hear you. Most of our customers had the same concern. Let me tell you how we're addressing this today...
Step # 5: Next Steps
Finally, all sales calls should end with next steps and action items. If you don’t have action items (i.e. another call or a check in after the client is using the product), then you will be facing an uphill battle next time you talk with the prospect.
- When are you going to be able to bring this back to your team?
- When is a good time for us to connect again?
The above five steps provide a great starting point for a sales rep of any experience. Now, try making it your own and see how things improve.