How to Make a Sales Call: 4 Tips for New Starters

The telephone is a wonderful thing. Sitting there on your desk it offers – with just a few taps of its keys – access to the ear of millions of potential customers around the world.

Wonderful, yes, but then at the same time rather daunting...

That’s because you have no idea who will answer, what they will be like or what they will say to you. You want to make a good impression, but worry that they won’t understand you or take interest in your call.

The question is: How do new salespeople get around the nerves, and start making high quality calls?

4 Tips for New Starters

We know the stereotype – you’ve got to be noisy and confident. You’ve got to put on a really exciting, charismatic persona. But sales is just about talking to people, and getting started isn’t as hard as you might think.

Here are some fundamentals to get you going in the right way:

1. Tell a Story

The first thing to be sure about is your service. You need to know what it offers, and what separates you from your competitors. The difficult part is condensing what might be a long treatise, into a short, snappy, memorable storyline – an elevator pitch that you can use when first speaking with a client, or when cold calling. Think of it as a kind of story, which involves setting out a challenge your customer may have, and introducing your service as a way of resolving it.

2. Listen First

Some salespeople can be so eager to tell their story that they forget to actually pause and listen to the customer’s. But this is key. Regularly pausing to allow the customer to speak, as well as taking the time to really listen to what it is they are saying about their situation, is vital. Relationship building begins with that first call. Get the balance right by showing an interest in what the customer has to say.

3. Ask Questions

One of the core strategies of persuasion is known as ‘find out and match’. That is: find out what the customer wants, and try to match your service to their requirement. And the best way of doing this is through the careful use of questions, designed both to uncover a requirement and also at the same time align your service as the most appropriate solution. Questions show that you are interested in understanding the customer’s business, and are key to building relationships.

4. Sell Solutions

Throughout the sales interaction the emphasis should be not on selling your product or service to the customer, but on solving their problems. Don’t just talk about why your service is so great and about what it can do – but about what it can do for your particular customer. Introduce new ideas, be specific, and look to become a trusted advisor for all your customers. Ask yourself: “Would they hire me as a consultant even if I didn’t have my product or service to sell?”

At LDL we provide open and bespoke sales training courses to help develop consultative-partner selling ability. If you or your organisation are interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

To learn more about what a successful onboarding process which implements the above principles might involve, have a read of this article: “What’s Your Sales Training Process? 3 Steps to Getting the Most out of New Recruits”.

A guest article by Tom Fielder - Marketing Manager at LDL, Leadership Development Ltd. LDL is a soft skills training consultancy specialising in the development of sales, leadership, negotiation and presentation skills excellence. Tom researches and writes for LDL about fresh approaches to training, with a particular focus on its specialist areas.

You might also be interested in...

More resources