One of the major pieces but often one of the most overlooked parts of the sales process is pre-call planning. Pre-call planning is what you do to prepare yourself to succeed on the sales call. What goes into pre-call planning?
The first step of the pre-call plan is to establish what you want to accomplish on the call. Depending on the length of your sales process, you could make anywhere from 1 to 20+ calls on a prospect before you reach agreement to do business. You want to have it clear in your mind before making the call what you want to accomplish.
The step in pre-call planning is to determine how you will know you succeeded in accomplishing what you wanted to accomplish. In other words, what does success look like on the call? For example, let’s say in step one you said you wanted to accomplish having your prospect agree to a free trial. Then in this step you want to state what the prospect will do to agree to a free trial. It could be the customer will sign the paperwork necessary and set a date to begin. At first glance you might say this looks like step one. It is not. Step one in the what, this step is the how. If you don’t know what it looks like to achieve the call objective, you won’ know if you were successful on the call.
Next you want to determine the key points you want to discuss on the call. Never go into a call with the idea of “winging it”. Without planning it is easy to forget or get distracted and not cover the main points you intend to cover.
Next you want to plan how you will enter into the discussion of the points. Here you want to be relevant to your prospect. You might want to write a list of questions you plan to ask or statements you plan to make. The idea is to know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it in a relevant way to your prospect.
Next you want to plan how you will convey your call to action. Every call you make it should have a call to action. The call to action is what you want your prospect to do to have you achieve the goal of the call. You want to plan the compelling “offer” you will present that will move your prospect to act.
If you will take the time to plan out these five things before you make each sales call you will move prospects through the sales funnel faster and more efficiently. To download a copy of a pre-call planning worksheet, click the link below.
Click here to get your Pre-call Planning Worksheet
I have a yellow lab and if you know anything about the breed you know that they are the most loving dogs around. They always want to be near you and lay at your feet. They just make excellent pets.
One thing about my lab though is that she is persistent with a capital “P”. If I go to the refrigerator or get something to eat, she takes her spot right next to me just in case a morsel drops to the floor or I break down and give her a sample. No matter how many times I nudge her away she always comes back. No shame, no embarrassment, no thinking “I got nudged away last time”, she’s right there.
If you want to win the sales game you have to develop the “yellow lab mentality” You have to be persistent. When people say “no” consider that this just a starting point of selling. After all, if no one says “no” you’re just an order taker and there is no selling involved.
The question is: what does it take to be persistent? Persistence is to continue steadfastly and the word carries the connotation of continuing in spite of resistance. For sales people to win the sales game persistence has to be about “keep on keeping on” despite the setbacks of lost deals, rejections, and tough circumstances like the economy.
Persistence is an attitude. If you are not being persistent it’s because you are not thinking persistent. If you let all the setbacks, disappointments, and the “no’s” keep you from being in action, it is your attitude that you need to work on. Here are a few tips for developing an attitude of persistence. Every morning, wake up and look in the mirror and say ” I am a persistent person.” Do the same thing before you go to bed at night. I’m not going to go into the science of affirmation here. Let’s just say you create new patterns of thinking when you do affirmations. Do this for thirty days and notice the difference.
So you’re probably thinking how can I do something for thirty days when I’ m not persistent? Don’t worry about the thirty days, just do one day. Then tomorrow, do one day….and so on. You could break it down to “this morning”. Don’t worry about tonight yet. Just do it this morning. You get the idea. Once you get it going you’ll find each day is a little bit easier. You’ll also find it easier to be persistent in your sales efforts too.
We’re dead smack in the middle of football season. Every Sunday and Monday teams line up to compete on the football field with the goal to win the game. The players expend a lot of energy on the field and one group of players will be elated at the end of the game and another group of players will be disappointed and think about “what if”. Just as interesting as the game, and more so in some instances, are the fans. Fan is short for fanatical and that is certainly an appropriate name for people who follow a sports team.
A fan is special. They root for the team and never give up hope. Their team could be down by three touchdowns with two minutes to go and the fan says: “it doesn’t look good but we can still pull it out. A touchdown here, two onside kick recoveries, score two more touchdowns. Yeah that’s doable in two minutes!” Well, that’s a fan for you.
You can sum up a fan in one word and that’s ENTHUSIASM. All fans have it. In fact you can’t be a fan without it. Zig Ziggler said that the last four letters of the word enthusiasm, IASM, makes a great acronym. He said IASM stands for: I Am Sold Myself. Now isn’t that true of fans. They are sold on their team. And, if you say something bad about their team, they will make you curse your mother for giving you birth. No question, they are sold on the team.
Zig made an application for sales people about the concept of “being sold”. He asked: “how could you sell something to someone else if you are not sold yourself?” Are you a fan of your company, the products you sell, the services you provide? If not, a good thing to do would be to examine why. You could get all the sales development training, the latest technology, and anything else, but if you are not sold on what you bring to the marketplace, you will not be successful.
C’mon be fanatical about your company and your products! The bigger fan you are the more you will sell.