We all know that sales calls are the lifeblood of anyone in the Sales industry. Sales training programs will tell you that preparation is a key part of any successful sales call. I don’t necessarily believe that. I’ve recently been working with a number of sales people who spend all of their time preparing to make calls, but in the end, wind up making very few. They simply run out of time because they take too long to prepare. One of the things I firmly believe is that there’s no better time than right now to make a sales call. In other words, don’t put off making one just because you don’t have all of your stuff together. If you do, you’ll never make the numbers you need. (The only exception I find to this rule is if you’re selling to an incredibly narrow customer base. But, don’t kid yourself, you’re probably not in this situation!)
If you’re a supervisor, challenge your sales team to make sales calls even though they may not be fully prepared. Keep in mind that what I am advocating is the need to push ourselves to continuously find ways to eliminate unnecessary time in our sales process.
If you’re a salesperson, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the % of phone calls I make where I actually talk to someone? The vast majority of our phone calls wind up in voice mail anyway, so really all we need to make the call is a compelling point of interest to leave on the message.
- Do I have enough questions I can ask the customer in person to get them to reveal some great information that will guide me through the sales process? Your answer must be “yes”.
In the end, I believe many people spend a lot of time preparing to make sales calls only to wind up not making them because they’re afraid of rejection. If this is the case (and I believe it is 90% of the time), then you need to take a step back to consider the following:
- Do you truly believe in what you’re selling?
- More importantly, do you have the passion to sell?
If you can’t answer “yes” to both, then you will never be successful and you might as well start looking for another job.