You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and we all know how relevant this is in the world of sales. That’s why what you shouldn’t say to a customer is just as important as what you should.
While there is no ‘hard and fast’ rule to conducting a good sales call, saying the wrong thing could kill the deal before it even starts. This means that you’ve pretty much lost the chance and given the prospect to your competitor.
It’s like fishing: you could lose the big fish because of a weak fishing reel – the ‘reel’ in this case is your sales conversation skills.
In the next few minutes, we’ll go through the topics and phrases you shouldn’t say in a sales call.
What Not To Say In Your Next Sales Call
- Putting down your CompetitorPutting your competitor down is only going to put you in a bad light.Rather, discuss the different value propositions offered by you and your competitors. Then, go on to state why your offering is a better fit for their needs – it’s about them, not you or your competitor!
- Interrupting Your CustomerWe understand it’s you who is making the sale. But talking more than listening isn’t how selling is done.We recommend you follow the tried and tested 43:57 talk-to-listen ratio. Basically, out of a 100-minute sales call, dedicate 43 minutes to talking and the larger 57-minute portion to listening to the client.This will increase their satisfaction levels because they are the focus of your call.
- Admitting to Not having InformationNever admit outright to not having any information regarding your offering.Rather, shift the task to another team. Or better yet, find out different or creative ways to deal with the requirements of the customer. As the deal progresses, you can lay out the options in front of the customer and increase the value to your proposition.
- Introducing Monetary Benefits Too Early in the ConversationYou’re not out there to make a sale – you’re there to earn a customer. Hence, pushing the cost factor early shouldn’t be your focal point.We ran through findings from Gong, a conversation artificial intelligence technology for sales teams, and here what we found: The most successful salespeople discuss product prices only after 40 to 49 minutes into the discussion. Before this point, they focus on the value of your differentiated offering.If you keep this in mind, you’ll have prospects sold on your idea, irrespective of the price point.
- Asking to be Put onto a SuperiorIf you attempt to surpass the representative you just spoke to, chances are you will lose the deal.Most representatives have considerable control over their firm’s purchase decision. Asking to speak to their superior is like alienating them. Rather, offer to provide information that would positively influence their superior – basically, make the rep look good to their boss! This way, you maintain the order of escalation and close on a good note.
- Showing Desperation to ConvertShowing your urgency to convert the prospect into a sale is only going to backfire on you.You’re there to solve the customer’s problems, not to meet your targets. If you are driven by personal interest and not the customer’s needs, it’s likely that your customer will see that you don’t have their interests.If your prospects are backing away from the deal, you might be approaching with a desperate attitude instead of a strong interest to solve their problems.
How to Prepare for a Successful Sales Call
“Failing to Prepare Is Preparing To Fail”
Preparing for a sales call helps you say the right things at the right time.
You don’t want to walk out of the boardroom without mentioning valuable items when you were inside the room. Also, going in with a strategic and sorted approach will help you conquer sales calls and address queries with confidence.
Here are some preparation pointers to ace your next sales call.
- Research on their Qualifying CriteriaWhile you work on your pitch, get your research team to bring out every public detail of your customer that could be of relevance.It is important that you go into the call fully knowing their current needs, risks perceived and decision-making criteria. Even their social media can provide clues to seal the deal!
- Prepare a Lot of Open-Ended QuestionsThe idea of the first sales call is to understand the nature of the client’s requirements.To achieve this, you need to draw out information from them. Ask them a lot of open-ended questions and you will see how they share information that no checklist could collect.
- Make It About The Client“Your Customer Doesn’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care”Discuss in your sales call how every deal is focused on the needs of the client.Allow them to lay out their preferences on delivery, duration, etc. Assure them that their interest is the focal point of the deal.
- Be Mindful of Your ShortfallsConduct a self SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) before you walk into that boardroom. Make notes, so that you have information at your fingertips which can help you in your conversation. You don’t want to be caught off-guard on pertinent questions that you don’t have an answer to.
- Prep Yourself on Handling ObjectionsPrepare yourself on conversations that may go into unfavorable territory.Remain calm while answering and check if you got the query right in the first place. You could offer a solution and promise to strengthen it in the later meetings. Prepare yourself on all possible sticky situations and how you can salvage them.
Why Closing a Sales Call Well is Necessary & How To Do It
Ending a call well will help to conclude the conversation on a good note. It also leaves a strong impression of you and your offering. There are a few basic elements you should follow to help you lead towards a celebratory close.
- Firstly, reiterate that all of the customer’s needs are fulfilled by your offering.
- A good way to do that is to elicit from the customer itself the value-added proposition of your offering.
- Get them to spell out what they like about your product. Their words are likely to stay with them more than yours.
- Secondly, draw out any lingering considerations they may have.
- It can be the delivery time or after-sales support or something you may not have thought of yet. If there are any, make sure it’s brought to the table.
- Lastly, here is where you put a CTA in place.
- This is necessary to take the sales call to the next phase.
- Preferably, have one on your side so you have the power to take things forward. T+2/T+3 business days is a comfortable time for a call-back.
As a salesperson, you may think it is your responsibility to own the sales call. That’s not true – it is your responsibility to lead it.
Focus on drawing out the underlying needs of your client. Then, simply match the features of your service to these needs. That doesn’t mean you act pushy and impatient. Allow the call to take its natural course while introducing new concepts when one arrives at a logical conclusion. Needless to say, this requires preparation and planning from your end.
Lastly and importantly, follow certain thumb rules on what to say and what to avoid. Remember, words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost you that precious sale. If you’re wondering how to achieve all of this, click on “5 Steps to Train Your Sales Team in 5 Days” and learn from key sales principles that we’ve honed over the years.