When your sales activity is low and you’re not hitting your targets for the month, your sales manager will often assume that you’re not making enough calls in a day. Since, to most salespeople, sales is a numbers game – the more calls you make and the more potential customers you talk to, the higher your chances are of closing a deal. But is sales really a numbers game? Isn’t the number of calls you make irrelevant, if you are continually striking out each time because you keep making the same mistake? What about your sales strategy?
Take baseball for example. You could aimlessly swing a bat in hopes of hitting a ball, or you could take time to learn the proper techniques of swinging so that you are more prepared the next time you step up to bat. The same goes for sales. Before you jump on your next call, take a look at these three simple ways to make your sales calls more productive and maybe even more…successful.
Define your objectives and goals for each call.
So what do you want to get out of the call? Are you going to try and wing it again? Before you pick up the phone, make sure you have clearly outlined your desired outcomes for the call. Though this may seem like an obvious step, it’s often the most crucial (and most overlooked) step of the probing phase, in the sales planning process. Objectives are the only way to measure your success on a sales call. Your most important goal should be to understand and solve your client’s problems.
Timing is everything.
From a business perspective, there may be nothing more valuable than our time. If planned correctly, the timing of a sales call can help to double or even triple your success rate. Salespeople often have a preconceived notion of which days of the week, and hours of the day, are the most optimal times to reach prospective customers. You won’t find agreement on what the best time is to make a sales call, so it sometimes comes down to personal sales experience. For me, I’ve found that the earlier hours of the workday (8-9), and the later hours in the afternoon (3-4), are when I am most successful at reaching customers. After successfully getting a hold of a customer, and before making your opening statement, make sure to ask them if you’ve reached them at a convenient time. If not, make sure to schedule an appropriate time to call them back. Make sure to give yourself the best possible path to success by respecting your prospect’s time.
Provide real value for the customer.
Traditionally, salespeople have put the focus on products and services and how the customer can get more value for their money. Well in today’s selling sphere, the sales cycle has become much more than just focusing on the value of a certain product or service. It is equally focused on the time that we spend with the customer, which will be of added value to them. In other words, the sales process itself must bring value to your customer. Your customer must gain something from every sales call. Smart companies tell their salespeople to sell on value and not on price, Great salespeople teach the customer something new and bring insight and thought leadership into their sales call.