What you should never do in a first sales call
Did you know that there are a lot of things you can do wrong during a first sales call with a new prospect? These are the four most common mistakes in a first sales conversation according to our sales guru Rik. So after reading this blog, you will never make them again. Let's agree on that, shall we?
1. Mention a price
In the first sales call you want to create a need. If there is no need, everything will be too expensive. With a need however, you are sure you are solving a problem and then you have a completely different conversation. Identified the need? Sell the second meeting!
2. Start with a sales presentation
Yes, you read that right. We don't believe in a sales presentation during the first meeting. You don't want to be talking about yourself the whole time. Instead, you should listen to the customer to know what challenges they are up against. How do you turn around the typical "Come present something" question from a critical prospect? By giving this smart answer:
- "What would you like me to present?" (Gives you additional info as well)
- If you don't get a specific answer or a request for a general overview: "We solve different problems. To use our time most efficiently, I suggest a conversation first to see if we can meet what you need."
- If you get a very specific question: "Interesting, I would like to go into that in more detail during our conversation. Possibly I can bring a short company presentation?" Tip: Then keep that one really short, at the end of your conversation.
3. Forget to ask who makes decisions
No idea who makes decisions? A recipe for disaster! An unclear decision-making structure is the main cause of an excessively long sales funnel. Therefore, from the very beginning, ask your contact who the decision-maker is. Be aware that this is not equally clear in every organization. Also take into account the possible egos at the table: someone who answers "I'll take the decision and fine-tune it" is actually saying in between the lines that he or she is not the only decision-maker. At that point, suggest speaking to all the decision-makers: "I'd like those individuals to hear it from me, too, so I can give the right emphases."
4. Not explicitly naming the objective(s)
The last piece of advice we want to give you. You don't want to mention a prize in the initial conversation (as we touched on in our first point.) By explicitly naming what you want, you also help avoid talking prices. How do you do that? Say something along the lines of: "The purpose of today is an open conversation to find out how you approach x and what you think is important. If this shows that we can do something for each other, I'll be happy to give a demo in a future conversation and we'll make it more concrete."
Armed with the tips above, you are ready to go on a sales calling war. Apply our tips in the field and you'll find that your first sales calls will go a lot smoother. Want to know more? Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about all things sales(nudge).
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