In past articles Iíve discussed qualifying, selling, and up-selling the client. All of this will work, ONLY if you show up. Showing up doesnít mean coming to the office and immediately heading to the coffee pot, chatting it up your co-workers and hiding behind emails; it means starting off your morning with a plan. Okay, maybe Iím being a little harsh...arrive, get coffee, discuss pleasantries but then get down to business.
Starting sales calls in the morning is a lot like starting your car on a cold winter day; itís unbearable and frigid but eventually you and the car warm up. Your first two calls may not be your best or the most fun but they rev you up for the next eight. I play games and use equipment when I make calls. (Game equipment: headset. If you donít have one, invest and get one. It saves your neck in more ways then one.) I start my calls by choosing one of my two games. I either make a box of ten or I play the number circle game. Yes, itís a game but heck, at least Iím showing up. If I choose the box game it goes like this, each call I make I mark a box either with an X or a check. If I donít speak with my intended contact the box receives an X. If I speak to my contact, the box receives a check. Now, If I choose the number circle game, I number my paper with each call and put the contact name to the right. When I reach my contact the number gets circled. If I leave a message the number stays just a number. Once my boxes are full or I reach number ten I allow myself a mini break.
If the calls are warm and going well I continue with adding my boxes or numbers. If I am on a hot streak I continue until I really need a break BUT I never stop until I have 10 filled boxes or a paper from 1-10. It seems childish but if you stop once before you reach your goal, you will stop again. So donít ever break your promise of reaching your number or goal each time you decide to begin.
Calls can be discouraging which is why you need to play games to be sure you keep showing up. On an average Ďinningí you may only reach three of your ten clients. Itís not you, itís the odds. Decide what your game will be for the day, whether it is reaching 10 clients (30 calls) or making 60 calls. Having a game plan helps you to strategize towards the win. Make your plan for the day, the evening before. Decide what type of calls and the number you will make before you arrive in the office. Otherwise in the morning, you get caught up in the planning and not the calling.
Remember the basics: name, company, courtesy, goal: "This is Karen Connor from COATS, do you have a minute?" Be brief and to the point and when reaching the client always reach your goal. Even if they are in the middle of a meeting or busy, be sure to ask, "When is a better time?" Be sure you know your goal before you make the call. Is it for a meeting, following up on a quote, or customer service? Nothing is worse than reaching the client and not knowing what to say or having a reason for the call.
If the client isnít available and you reach the receptionist or voice mail remember the basics again: name, company, phone number, and goal.
"Please tell him Karen Connor from COATS called. I can be reached at 800-888-5894. I am calling to answer any questions he may have on the quote I sent last Tuesday."
The purpose of all of this? To get in the game. If you donít make calls you canít say youíve played and if you donít play you will never win. Playing may mean different things to different people. It may mean an appointment made, a follow up on an order, or a lunch appointment with an existing client. Whatever your goal, make sure it keeps you in the game; the game of qualifying, selling and post-selling.
COATS Systems Sales Manager, a leading staffing software. More staffing articles are available at their site, www.coats95.com. Feel free to contact Karen directly; firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.888.5894.