Five ways to improve a sales call

It’s not easy to have a good sales call. Sometimes you loose track, start pitching too quickly, or accidentally interrupts to describe another great feature. When I read The Mom Test – How to talk to customers by Rob Fitzpatrick – I had an aha-moment. To boil it down to one sentence – asking some questions gives you the answers you want to hear rather than the ones you need. So, here’s for anyone that wants to improve a sales call.

1. First of all, be prepared. Have three questions prepared. I know it’s cliché, but when you start to loose it you need a couple of questions to get on the right track again. This will definitely make you stay focused during your sales call.

2. Being professional is great, but you’re even better at being yourself. A while ago I read it’s no longer business to business, it’s human to human. When you think about it, what sales calls did you actually enjoy? The ones I enjoyed are the ones with a relaxed person showing some personality rather than a stressed out sales person (to nervous to be itself).

3. A great way of getting answers to your questions is to make a person describe a whole process rather than one segment. The best way for us to find out what’s the real headaches for a salesperson – is to ask them to describe their workflow. Be curious and write down what they’re saying. Save most of the questions until they’re ready and get back to details once they’ve finished.

4. Allow yourself to think before you reply. It’s not easy to always know an exact reply. And if you don’t have to answer to every question a person ask: get back to them. Getting back about details is so much better than to try to come up with a good reply about something that you’re not sure of. Replying the question is also a great way to come back and say thanks for the meeting.

5. Don’t make the call too big a deal. Of course it’s important, but making a meeting a big deal also increases expectations. Ask if they have twenty minutes right away and jump on it. One of best calls I’ve ever had was with a guy stuck in traffic.

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