Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.3

Making Outbound Sales Calls

Making a telephone call to a complete stranger to introduce your products and services can be a daunting task, requiring knowledge, confidence and sales skills.

Here are Learning Curve's Top Ten Tips to successful prospecting:

  1. Prepare yourself - both physically and mentally. On the practical side, declutter your desk and make sure you have all the relevant information to hand, including notes on what you are going to say when you get through!.
  2. Have the right attitude - smile, sit up straight and think positively. Remember Henry Ford;s wise words: "whether you think you can or you can't…you're probably right!"
  3. Plan your calls - decide who you are going to ring one day in advance. This way you can come into the office and start calling straightaway - no excuses! Plan your call list in non-sales time (e.g. at the end of the day) and stick to it.
  4. Keep records - Whether electronic or manual, keep notes on who said what and who to call back when. You need to be organised enough to start each 'call-back' with a review of what was agreed on the last call.
  5. Set call objectives - before the call decide on what you would like to achieve, i.e. to arrange a meeting / make a sale, and then set yourself a secondary objective, i.e. to introduce yourself to the decision maker. In this way the call will be more focussed and result-orientated.
  6. Use positive language - be concise, clear and professional in your language. Avoid jargon and slang. Make meetings, not appointments (we usually associate appointments with doctors and dentists!).
  7. Ask for the decision maker by name - get the name of the person you need to speak to before being put through to them. This means that you will be able to greet them by name, and also call back and ask for them by name if they are not in.
  8. Start on a positive note - never ask if the prospect has time to speak to you. He will always think of something better to do! Clearly state who you are, where you are from, and give a 'hook', i.e tell the prospect what's in it for him.
  9. Keep it structured - your call should follow 5 key stages, e.g. introduction, asking questions, confirming information, presenting information and asking for the order or meeting.
  10. Close the call professionally - thank the prospect for their time / order, use their name, and if scheduling a call-back, outline the agenda / objectives for the next call and arrange a call-back date / time.

Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683

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