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.