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The best things I learned in training: How to start a sales call

Sales calls are not easy to get and making the best of them is crucial to a quota closing year. Starting strong is the best advice I've had for a sales call - but what does that mean? "Do I have a deal for you!" used car salesman pushy? Whip out the PowerPoint to bore the client in to buying from you? Nope what I've found is more straightforward

First DON'T get straight down to business.

Try some small talk. Build some rapport, get to know the client better - what makes them tick? Their priorities, goals? What about their life outside of work (kids? hobbies? side hustles)?

All of that helps in future conversations and it shows you're not just a money grubbing sales beast looking for the next Dollar, Yen, Euro or Renminbi

Make it relevant to the client - "how was your weekend?" (if meeting on a Monday), How is your week going? (if you're meeting later in the week) etc.

When you transition into the "business end" of the meeting start by

  • Position your opening: You are providing a bridge from small talk to the main topic and the positioning is a signpost, you might say, "when you spoke to my SDR you expressed interest in our XYZ product" or refer back to a previous meeting, "In our last meeting you said you wanted to discuss how we can improve measurement in your existing processes". This is about providing context for the discussion

  • Propose an agenda: This lets the customer know what you want to accomplish in the meeting (that links to the position statement above) then;

  • State the value to the customer: Explicitly emphasize on the benefit or value to the customer and finally;

  • Check for acceptance: You need to ask if your agenda is agreeable to the client ? You might ask, "how does that sound?" or, "is there anything else you'd like to add?

Now this takes practice and can seem clunky at first when you start, but I guarantee when you start to use it - you set the tone for a higher quality meeting (you both know where you are heading in the call) , the client will respond to that clarity and it gives you a structure for the questions you will ask

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