What Should Be On Your Pre-Call Checklist?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

22 May, 2013

Checklist with penWhen  we discuss planning and preparation with salespeople, they consistently see the need for ensuring they are ready for the call and have the confidence in their products and services.

But when we dig deeper, we often see that many haven’t a robust system for ensuring they will give the prospect a good enough reason to meet up with them.

So here we cover a pre-call checklist that will enable you to have confidence before making that call and also convince the prospect you have a lot to offer.

1) What do you sell, and why should they care?

I don’t mean your product or service. I mean what is the solution you are offering? What pain are you taking away, or what benefits are you bringing? And, importantly, why should the person taking your call actually care? the fact you are trying to sell them something isn’t a good enough reason for them to talk to you. Have good reasons why they should care about what you do and what you offer.

2) How are you different and better than your competition?

Very few companies have USPs these days. Most of what you consider to be your USPs should be seen as ‘givens’ in today’s market place. Keep up-to-date with what your competition are offering, so it doesn’t come as a shock when your prospect says they have a better offer from them.

3) Answer the question, “Even though we’re not the cheapest, people buy from us because…”

You should have a list of at least 6 answers to this question. Imagine you’re in front of the prospect and they ask why they should spend extra money with you. Don’t just rattle off the generic ‘our quality, back-up, service, etc’ stock answers. Your competition will be saying exactly the same things. Be specific so your prospect sees your value up-front.

4) Do your research

There’s so much information out there for you to gain knowledge before your call. But many salespeople stop after they’ve checked out the prospect’s website. Remember to also do your homework on their Linked-In profile, their Linked-In company page, their Facebook business page, any Twitter updates, their You-Tube channels if they have one, and other social media outlets that allow you to catch up on what they stand for in the market place

5) Set your primary and secondary objectives

What do you hope to achieve on the call? Why should the decision-maker talk to you at all? If you don’t get your primary objective (appointment? Proposal offer, tender list?) what’s the next best thing you can aim for?

6) Determine how they will benefit from talking to you

There has to be some reason why they should spend their precious time talking with you. What would they achieve by partnering with you? What changes would their business go through by buying from you? If you can answer those questions you can have confidence the prospect will talk to you.

This isn’t an exhaustive pre-call listing, but it should give you an idea of some of the things you can do to prepare for a call with a new prospect. It will also give you the confidence to pick up that phone or knock on that door when you need to prospect for more business.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of 89 Studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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