Effective sales come from cold, hard, and constant preparation.
Regardless of the stage that an ad sales rep is at with a prospect, there is always going to be preparation needed to make any and every interaction a success.
Pre-pitch, emails, phone calls, voicemails, in-person, post-pitch, and beyond. If you're not prepared, then you're not selling. With differing types of interaction come differing types of preparation, however.
Sales reps can sometimes have trouble knowing what kind of preparation they need to do. With these tips, make sure that your diligence is being used in the right places.
Here are 6 tips for preparing the ultimate sales call:
1. Learn about the person.
Don't just learn about the account, the company, and their product. Learn about the person behind the account - the person you'll be interacting with.
Prospecting can be quite powerful. Does your contact have a hobby or anything outside of work that you can relate to?
What time of day do they most prefer to be reached? Prepare to make your call at that time.
Research who they are within the company they work for. What is their specific role at the company? Research how that role connects to your end goal.
Research how that role typically fits into the buying process elsewhere, as well.
Depending on their level of seniority, and level of decision-making, you should relate your own offering to best suit their understanding, and whether they'll be passing your message along.
2. Have one main focus.
What is the one thing you want them to know? Make sure that your pitch is as specific as possible related to your offering.
While there may be a lot of ways that you can help your prospect, it's more important not to overload them with information in your phone call. "Wow" them with a specific pain point that you can solve for them.
During your preparation, thinking about a single main focus will help you hone in on what's most important. During the phone call, it will make your pitch much more digestible for your prospect.
Prepare a pitch that is specific to your product, but also specific to the personality of your contact. Take what you know about your prospect, and combine it with how you can specifically help your prospect's pain points.
3. Be ready for questions.
While it's important to have a specific focus, it's also important to be prepared to answer a bevy of questions.
Have a few ways to get to your one thing, because you may get rerouted. It's hard to know how many questions your prospect will have, but they will have questions.
Think of your main focus idea as a tree. The bulk of your conversation will be the trunk of the tree. Your goal is to move along the trunk, but also prepare for the limbs and branches to be included as well.
The limbs and branches are the small pieces of information that divert slightly from the main topic. Prepare yourself with answers for all the hypothetical limbs and branches.
4. Seek information in return.
Know what you want to find out from your prospect. It's important to use them to gather as much information as possible, as they are the greatest resource of all.
Gather information from them regarding their product and their pain points. You can use any information you gather to fuel further communication.
You can do this by preparing specific questions that you want to ask them.
You can ask about their previous business relationships, various types of pain points, and if they'd like to make any changes to the way they interact with clients.
Make a list of things you want to clarify, or things you don't know, and ask your contact specific questions about those things. Get as many answers as possible.
5. Have physical support.
Prepare a package of physical, material back-up for yourself, just in case.
To be sure that you don't forget anything, there's no harm in preparing an outline with a profile of your contact, the information you want to cover, and the questions you want to ask them. In short, make an outline of tips 1 thur 4.
Also, prepare any other marketing materials that might be of help to you - white papers, brochures, web pages, and so on.
Having strong material back-up can help you stay on point without losing your footing. It'll help you better answer questions, and better ask questions.
6. Prepare a voicemail.
Unfortunately, your prospect isn't always going to answer the phone. If they don't answer, however, never hang up the phone!
Always look at a voicemail as another opportunity to impress your prospect. Prepare a 30 second version of the one main point that you intended to focus on in your phone call.
There won't be any back and forth or immediate questions, so you can plan your talking points beginning to end. Write an outline for your email, with bullet points of exactly what you want your prospect to know.
Impressing your prospects over the phone can be the difference in getting another meeting, and eventually winning their business...