Setting the Stage for a Successful Sales Call

Let me ask you a question and please be
honest; doesn’t it bother you when the doorbell rings and someone has showed up
unannounced and tries to sell you something? I’m confident everyone reading
this agrees that’s not how you want to be approached. Then why do salespeople
do that to their business customers?
Salesperson – “Hi Pat. I was in the area and
thought I’d pop in to say hello. Do you have a few minutes to talk because I’d
love to tell you about…blah, blah, blah.”
All too often people agree to give up some
time because they don’t want to appear rude but here’s a newsflash for the
offensive salesperson – they aren’t
listening to you!
They’re wondering why they didn’t honestly tell you they
didn’t have time to see you and are counting the minutes until you leave.
Holding successful sales calls entails setting
the stage because you want to be in front of people who want to see you and
believe you might just be able to help them or their business.
So how do you set the stage? A little pre-call
planning and understanding psychology goes a long way.
Common courtesy dictates you contact a client
(current or potential) to find a date and time that works for both of you. I
always suggest doing this by phone because it allows you to inform them about
why you want to see them and find out if there are any things you should be
considering in advance.
Salesperson – “Hi Pat, it’s Jim. I was calling
to see if we could find a time when I could stop by. I’d like to find out how
things are going and share with you some things I think you’ll find very
A big reason to make this initial contact is
to give the client time to think about you, your company, and your product or
Next, follow up immediately with an email
thanking them for their willingness to meet with you, confirming the date and
time, and giving them some information to look over and think about. Make sure
to ask them if they will look at it in advance because when they say yes, the
likelihood they will do it goes up. This approach taps into the principle of consistency
– people feel internal psychological pressure and external social pressure to
be consistent in what they say and do.
Salesperson – “Thanks for making time to see
me next Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. To get the most out of our time would you take a few
moments to look at the link below?”
Setting up the sales call like this also taps
into a psychological concept known as priming. Simply sharing information
beforehand can change how people think and behave.
Resend the original email on the day of the
sales call to remind the client of the time and ask if they’ve looked at the
information you shared. If they haven’t already they’re very likely to in
response to your email. Again, they don’t want to meet with you and not have
done what you asked.
As the meeting starts, again, thank them for
their time. Allow them the opportunity to share what’s on their mind before you
launch into your presentation.
After the meeting it’s always a good idea to
send a follow-up email. The reason for this email is to confirm any sale,
agreed upon next steps or action items. If you came away with a different
impression than the client this is the time miscommunication can be dealt with.
If you’re a salesperson I challenge you to try
this approach to a sales call. Clients and potential clients will appreciate
you respecting their time. You’ll also have the benefit of a much more
productive meeting because your contact will have had three or four
opportunities to think about your offer.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

2 replies
  1. Sridhar Chandrasekaran
    Sridhar Chandrasekaran says:

    You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey. Please keep in touch with me in Twitter, @ipersuade.


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