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How To CRUSH Your Next Sales Call: Part One Via Phone

It’s hard to believe I’ve been in sales for over 20 years ( and no I am not including lemonade stands!).  I have sold everything from men’s shoes, campground timeshares, and legal secretaries  to  custom trade-show booths, million-dollar databases, and now social media data solutions.  No matter the product or industry there are certain rules that I follow and steps that I take to ensure success.  Here are a few nuggets:

1)  Prepare the night before: Have your questions ready, your homework done, and the phone number handy.  Leave nothing to chance.

2)  Do your homework: Hoover’s, Yahoo Finance, Wikipedia, their web-site, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and of course Google.  Leave no stone unturned.  Find out everything you can about your prospect.  Know their stock price before you dial.  This should prevent you from asking stupid questions.

3)  Confirm the meeting time/phone number: Make sure everyone has the correct time zone,  dial-in instructions, etc.

4)  Smile: Keep a mirror handy so you can see yourself smiling.  Folks on the other end of the line can hear it.  I don’t care if you sat in Poison Ivy AND your dog died this morning, you will put on a happy face or you will sell nothing!

5)  Don’t Vomit on your shoes – There’s nothing worse than an obnoxious sales person droning on and and on about their latests and greatest features.

6)  Ask open-ended questions: For example, “What happens if you don’t fix this issue in 2010?”

7) Take notes: You don’t want to forget any important changes, tasks, or names.

8 )  Give THEM homework too: Make sure both sides have homework at the end of the call – Whether it’s an MNDA or a visit to your site, make sure both partis have follow-up items.

9)  Have a goal for the call: It can be as simple as a “Schedule another meeting”.

10)  Be yourself: ” Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde  Most important factor in your success is to be yourself and have fun.  This is the only way to build relationships successfully over the phone.

Break a leg!

This is post #12 of the 28 Day Blogging Challenge

Photo courtesy of  chuckthewriter and Flickr