Think of all those Boy Scouts and…
Surely you’ve answered a ringing phone only to be put off by a salesperson on the line who isn’t prepared – flubbing your name, shuffling papers, or worst of all, conducting a sideline conversation while waiting for you to pick up.
Prepare for your sales calls in these four ways:
First, create and maintain a work environment conducive to calling. Make sure you are physically comfortable, with the tools you need readily available – be logged on with a pencil in hand. Double check that your work space is quiet enough for a business conversation by silencing your cell phone and if you can, closing your office door.
Second, decide the day’s focus. The focus can be tactical – creating a list of customers that were promised a follow-up call this week, or strategic – deciding to call only prospects that qualify for a particular sales offering. Coming up with a game plan for the day’s calls will reduce distractions and diversions, and keep you organized and productive.
Third, prioritize your calls. Do you like to start strong out of the gate – tackling the most challenging calls first, or do you want time to warm up by starting with repeat customers? Think about what motivates you to make calls, so that you can achieve your goals more quickly.
And finally, be knowledgeable so that you can be nimble. Understand the context of your call before you pick up the phone, so that you are well prepared to ask probing questions that will keep your prospect engaged, regardless of where the conversation is headed. We all know the old adage, “know your customer” – the best way to know your customer is to ask the right questions.