Recently, I was on one of the worst sales call I’ve ever been on. But let me clarify: This guy was trying to sell me on a solution.
And he was terrible.
Periodically, I’ll watch webinars and hop on sales calls to see what kind of new information is out there. I’m not an omniscient marketer; I know there’s always more to learn, and there’s always information I can pass along to our students.
So, I got on this call. And things got really awkward, really fast.
But let me backtrack a bit.
It’s highly likely that you’ll have to spend at least some time with each client on the phone (or Zoom or Google Meet—you get the idea). And each call before you land the work is, in essence, a sales call. You’re on the phone with the end goal of getting them to hire you for work. (I’d also argue that any call with a client could be construed as a sales call in a way…but I digress.)
Comprehensive Copywriting Academy students have an entire course on nailing your client calls (including script templates you can use to guide the conversation).
But I want to cover some of the basic steps to these calls—and make sure you know about the single most important part of the call. I don’t want you to end up doing what this person did to me.
Any sales call has a few key elements that help facilitate the process. They are:
1. Questions That Start Building the Rapport
These don’t have to be in-depth; even talking about weather will do it. Or, if you know where someone is located, you can say something like, “Oh, Wilmington! My family and I went there on vacation when I was little. It’s lovely!”
2. Establishing the Baseline
This is where you get a good understanding of what your would-be client is doing now. What’s working? What’s not working?
3. Getting to the Deeper Need
Here’s where you start doing the heavy lifting. You’re trying to get down to the real reason they’re talking to you today—the real reason they’re thinking they need your help. And no, it’s not because you sent them an email or scheduled a call. The truth is that there’s something missing in their business, some piece of success that has eluded them thus far that they’re trying to see if you can help them with.
4. Explaining What You Do and the Benefits
Once you’ve got them excited about how their business could succeed, you start giving them some details about what you can do for them and the results you can help them get.
5. The Single Most Important Part of a Sales Call
The guy I was on the call with covered steps one through four—for the most part.
But the problem is that this is where he stopped. We talked about Boston, we talked about my businesses, he asked me to “imagine what life would be like” (which was cheesy but fine). And he didn’t really give me the details of their program, but I had kind of a general idea of what it would be.
Then he said, “So, how are you feeling?”
“Umm…what do you mean?”
“You know, how are you feeling about all of this?”
Friends, how was I feeling about what?
At this point, I started laughing because I realized he was going to skip the single most important element of a sales call.
He had taken me through all of this, had me on the phone for a half hour, and he was never going to actually ask for the sale.
And guess what the single easiest way to lose a sale is? To never ask for it.
Most people—and I’m guessing this guy is in this group—don’t ask for the sale because they’re afraid to do it. It’s scary to ask that question. Instead, they just hope their prospect will say, “All of this sounds great! Sign me up!”
But that’s not how it works. If the work you do is worth being paid for, it’s worth pitching. It’s worth asking for the sale.
When your prospect has to say to you, “What are you trying to sell me? What are you asking me to buy? What are the details and how much does it cost?” the way that I did, you know you’re not going to make that sale. They’ve turned the tables and they’re not focused on the benefits of your work anymore, they’re focused on the price and, just as likely, they’re annoyed that you’re talking around this discussion instead of asking for the sale.
People who ask for the sale are confident in what they’re offering; people who don’t, aren’t. And if you’re not confident in what you have for sale…very few people are going to buy it.
We have more tips for nailing a call with a prospective client. Check out this post called “8 Keys to Closing the Sale With a Potential Client” for even more tips!
Have you ever been on a bad sales call? What happened? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on September 26, 2023