You know what they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
While you may have spent weeks, even months, nurturing a prospect, your real time to shine is on your initial sales call. For just thirty short minutes, you have your prospects full attention. You not only get to pitch your value, but you also have the opportunity to gather valuable information about your prospect’s needs. So how are you going to make the most of it?
Whether you’re the CEO of a small business or a rep on a large sales team, you need to rely on a systematic approach to your sales calls. The following best practices will help you to make the most of your initial thirty minutes to get your foot in the door and move to next steps.
7 Tactics to Crush Your Initial Sales Call
- Pre-call Planning. Don’t underestimate the importance of pre-call planning. Each prospect is unique and should be treated as such. Take time to understand the elements of a company that relate to your value proposition. Understand the size and scope of their offering, and how you can fit into their mission and objectives. This first step will help you to tailor your approach to meet the needs of your prospect while also setting you up to build rapport and gather knowledge.
- Agree to an agenda early. Create an agenda that is the most conducive to educating a prospect on your business. What are the key factors in communicating your value and role in their business? Once you’ve outlined your agenda, communicate the process to your prospect and agree to it. This simple strategy keeps both parties on track and sets expectations to create a productive meeting.
- Show up fully. If this is your tenth sales call this week, you may feel less than enthusiastic to offer your pitch…but remember, first impressions count. Come with passion and effort. Rather than going through the motions, act like this is the only time this prospect is ever going to hear from you. Like performers on Broadway, understand that this may be the only night an individual will ever see this performance. Your commitment makes a difference.
- Don’t sell. Yes, I’m asking you to get on your initial sales call and don’t try to sell your prospect. According to Hubspot, 17. 57% of people said they would be encouraged to make a purchase from a salesperson who doesn’t try to apply pressure. Instead, focus on providing valuable information to help your buyer make a purchasing decision. Offer insight into your benefits, pricing, and processes. Everything you do should create clarity to guide your prospect towards the best buying decision for them.
- Gather information throughout the call. In many ways, the initial call is about discovery. Use this time to figure out the needs, pains, and priorities of your prospect. This will help you to create value by understanding the potential ROI for their business, the impact of influencers on a buying decision, and their current potential timelines. The goal is never to force a sale but rather to support an aligned purchasing decision.
- Establish clear next steps. Provide a roadmap of expectations in a way that’s very easy for a prospective customer to understand. Depending on the length of your sales cycle, you may outline just the next few steps or the entire process. The idea is to guide and support your prospects so nothing is left to guess work.
- Focus on integrity. In short, do what you say you’re going to do. Integrity is an incredibly simple tool to build positive rapport. If you say you are going to send references today, send references today. If you say you’ll follow up next week, follow up next week. At the same time, not following through on simple promises will be the first breakdown in trust. If a prospect can’t rely on you to send an email on time, can they believe your value proposition? Build trust by being reliable.
Your initial sales call can set the foundation for a long and successful relationship. By focusing on providing value over forcing conversion, you’ll not only benefit your prospects, but you’ll sign the best possible prospects for your business.
At Sapper, we set hundreds of initial sales calls every week. By creating qualified opportunities for your organization, we help you to create a sustainable pipeline and grow your business. Click here to learn more.