WRITTEN BY: Deborah Gavello

Proper Preparation

Sales calls start in your office. This is where a substantial amount of your preparation will take place.

As an example, consider the efforts of a chef. In order to create an award-winning masterpiece meal, a chef typically spends 10 times more time preparing his or her creations than anyone actually spends eating the scrumptious meals. Similarly, salespeople also need to prepare sufficiently for each and every sales call. (Using your iPhone to get directions does not count toward preparation time.)

1. ) First of all, look on the Internet and find and study your prospects’ Web site. Go to hoovers.com or another business intelligence-gathering site to discover relevant information about your prospects. If they have social media accounts, follow them to learn more.

Several libraries have excellent online databases available exclusively to their Library cardholders. One of my former students in Los Angeles utilizes the automated online search engines at the Los Angeles main downtown branch prior to all her calls. This is an excellent resource for searching out information on any business, and it is free!

2.) Create a list of sophisticated questions to ask your prospects.

All these initial questions should be focused on your prospects’ businesses, not on how much money they want to spend with you, or how their current service provider is doing.

3) It is more important to understand and really listen than it is to speak in life, but on sales calls as well.

The biggest mistake some salespeople make is to walk into sales calls talking non-stop about their products/services instead of listening to the individuals from whom they are trying to sell.

Some salespeople will admit they are pretending to listen merely to chime in and talk about the benefits of their product/service. Unfortunately, these types of salespeople are extremely focused on selling their wares- instead of focused on solving their prospects’ problems.

Differentiate yourself, differentiate your firm, forget about selling all your products/services, and focus on truly listening.

All this will sound counterintuitive, your firm’s products/services have no value to your prospective clients; it is what prospects can achieve and accomplish with your products/service that is so incredibly valuable to them.

Differentiation by Opening your Sales Calls Uniquely

It isn’t what you bring to a sates call that is important. It is what prospective clients take away from your sales calls that is critical.

In other words, leave all your brochures back in your office. A salesperson’s sole purpose is to establish a relationship with prospective clients, otherwise they could buy your product or service on-line. Currently, Amazon is taking away a lot of jobs from retail salespeople- In the past month both Sport Chalet and Sports Authority decided to close their doors.

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t how skillful you are at closing on sales calls; it is how effective you are at delivering a well thought out openings on sales calls.

Once again, prepare for what you are going to say and practice your opening statement in your car or back in the office; but always, prior to stepping inside prospects’ offices.

A well thought out opening statement, should include the following:

  • The purpose for your appointment.
  • Several value propositions — both about you and your firm.
  • An agenda.
  • A confirmation that you and your prospect are in agreement on this agenda.

From my personal experience with salespeople, I can discern how successful a salesperson will be based on the first 10 minutes of observing him/her on sales calls. This is one of the unique services we provide at Gavello and Associates, ride-a-longs with sales people to observe changes in behaviors. I have been on thousands of these types of sales calls. My job is just to observe, not to sell.

In summary: adequately prepare, recite an effective opening statement, ask sophisticated questions and adroitly listen to your prospects. This will help you succeed at differentiating yourself from other salespeople. By taking these suggestions and practicing these newly acquired skills, you will close an increased number of deals!

Good luck and Good Selling  Follow me on Twitter

Do not re-produce in any form without written permission from Deborah Gavello © Copyright 2016 Gavello and Associates http://www.deborahgavello.net/


Video Testimonials


    "I am very pleased to recommend Gavello & Associates for consulting and training services. We were impressed with the customized approach to fulfilling our particular expectations. Deborah was entertaining and her contagious enthusiasm made the seminar very enjoyable."

    Mitchell F. Cohen - Senior Vice President
    CIT Commercial Services, Los Angeles, CA