How improving sales calls can impact overall business success How improving sales calls can impact overall business success
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How improving sales calls can impact overall business success

How improving sales calls can impact overall business success

Showcasing your product or service can be a challenge for a small- or medium-sized company so make the right impression on your very first call

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It’s easy to believe that the most important stage in any sales process is making that (hopefully) winning proposal. But we can’t ever get to that stage without first getting that “oh-so-important” first meeting.

Prioritising the activities that secure more first meetings can have a revolutionary impact on a company’s sales pipeline. Sometimes even little improvements in calls with prospective clients can have big results.

Let’s see how it works (in real life):
If we secure eight meetings out of 40 calls, with a 25 per cent closing ratio and average deal value of $10,000, we would win two deals, or $20,000 in sales.
If we took action to improve our calls and start securing 12 meetings out of 40 calls, we would win three deals, or $30,000 in sales.
That’s a 50 per cent increase in new business revenue – just by getting better at how you tackle your phone calls.

Don’t take it too lightly
So, as an example let’s say you are a small or medium sized-company looking to make a breakthrough into an another company that can really make a difference to your success. You have been introduced by a mutual contact and they are aware you may be calling, but there is still lots of work to be done. They will still have to agree to meet you.

There’s generally little focus and effort put into those first calls, and this is a mistake. If we, as salespeople, are in the business of persuasion, we need to focus all our skills of persuasion from the very start of the sales process, rather than wait until we’re face-to-face with our prospects.

The sales call: what are you trying to achieve
We only have one objective – and that‘s to get our prospect to agree to see us. So we need to make it easy for them to say “yes”. We can do it by being totally prospect-focused, and that means:

• Making it very low commitment for them.
• Offering something that’s worthwhile to them.

Think through why our prospect should give us any of their valuable time. What’s in it for them? Even a little more effort in this area can have a massive and positive impact on our sales.

Don’t say that, say this…

Here are some common sales call openers:

• “I’d like to arrange to meet you to see how we can work together.”
• “It would be great to meet up to provide you with an overview of our company.”
On what planet would your prospect be interested in what you want? Rethink your opener to be more prospect-themed. Your reasons on why they’d be interested in what you have to say will depend on their industry, but examples that we’ve found have worked well are:
• “Would you be free for 30 minutes so I can give you an industry update that specifically relates to your operations in Saudi Arabia?”
• “If you have 30 minutes next week, may I update you on the new tech that’s helped companies in your sector significantly improve productivity?”

A period of 30 minutes is low commitment for your prospect, and you’ve angled it as something specific and worthwhile that they might get some real benefit from. You’ve got a higher chance of getting that first meeting. And when you meet with them, you’ll give them that worthwhile something and you’ll have built credibility, which helps you achieve the next stage of the sales process.

Stick to the point
It’s important to be confident, prospect-focused and polite, of course, but think through how you frame what you say, to give your prospect fewer opportunities to turn you down, for example:

• Don’t ask if they have time to talk. It’s easy for them to say no. You can still be very polite, but avoid an immediate rejection.
• Don’t waffle: focus only on offering the information that’s enough for them to say yes to a meeting.
• Suggest a time for the meeting, or give two options only. This narrows your prospect’s stream of thought and the opportunity
to decline a meeting.
• Keep your introduction to 20 seconds.

Improving your sales calls in small ways can have a big impact on your new business sales, so it’s worth reviewing what you’re doing now, and making those improvements.

Peter Heredia is the managing director – MaxSales Solutions, sales coach and author

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