Other People Are Reading
Plan for a sales call by visualizing the call from the start to finish before you pick up the phone. Decide what questions you need to ask the person you are calling. If it is a cold call, determine what general information you will need to get from the person. Before calling, anticipate any rebuffs from a potential customer about your product so that you are prepared with an answer or solution. During the planning stage, write down your thoughts and questions. This will give you something to refer to when making the actual call.
Dealing With The Gatekeeper
When calling another business, the person who answers and screens your call is known as the gatekeeper. Usually this is the business's receptionist or secretary. Clarify with the gatekeeper that he is the one who can make the business decisions. If not, ask to speak to the decision maker. This kind of sales call may take several tries before you are able to get in touch with the appropriate person. Always be friendly and respectful to the gatekeeper. Eventually, you will cease to be "that salesman." Instead, the gatekeeper becomes someone that works with you to connect you with
the decision maker.
Some people may use their voicemail to screen calls. Leave a voice mail message that will pique their curiosity. Invite them to call back and be sure to leave a time when you are able to answer the call. The best way to gain interest and get a return call is to ask a question about their needs or services. When they return the call, be genuinely interested in what they have to say about their company. Ask them questions during the conversation to find ways your product or service can help them.
During all calls, ask questions and listen carefully to questions being asked of you. Ask whether the person has heard about your product or service and ask them what they have heard. Sometimes people will tell you that your competitor has offered a better deal. Realize that this is a chance to build on the groundwork the competitor as laid. Offer a better solution to the potential customer. If the person declines your offer, ask her why she said no because this might actually mean that she does not need your product right now but would be interested in your product in the future.