Prior to picking up the telephone to make a sales call or approach a prospect, you should be setting a sales call goal. Each call should have a specific purpose, desired outcome, or intended result. Before making a sales call, ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish or have happen as a result of this call?” If you can’t come up with a good answer, perhaps you shouldn’t be wasting your and your prospect’s time.
Beware of unrealistic call goals. There’s little chance of “getting an order” or “making a sale” on an initial cold call. The best you can probably hope for is to get the name of the person you should be talking with. Just getting a future appointment with that individual would be considered a very successful conclusion to a cold call.
A sales call goal should answer one of these questions:
• What do I want to happen as a result of this call?
• What do I want the prospect to do as a result of this call?
Typical sales call goals might be:
• get name of key contact(s)
• qualify an opportunity
• make a presentation
• get an order for…
• get a decision regarding…
• determine a close date
• negotiate a sales contract
• close an opportunity
• get a purchase order
Other non-specific types of calls are:
• Suspect Call: Do they need my product?
• Prospect Call: Who should I be talking to about my product?
• Introduction Call: Present a general overview of my product.
• Courtesy Call: Social call; use with caution.
• Service Call: Follow up on a past sale to assure customer satisfaction.
Remember the basic rule for making calls on prospects or customers: Have a reason for the call, a reason that’s important to the other person.