199 Bad Sales Calls and 1 Good One

It is likely that your first sales call wasn’t very very good. You were like a dance partner that was dancing for the very first time. You didn’t open the call well. Nor did you set an agenda. There is no way you knew enough to describe the process you were going to work through with your prospective client, letting them know what the next step would be.

Your discovery was ill-informed. Someone suggested you ask your prospect what is keeping them up at night, and that was about the extent of your research. Your planning consisted of finding out the prospect’s address, and looking at their website.

All of your business acumen would fill a book. A matchbook. You knew nothing about your business, their business, and little about business in general. You could not have been anyone’s trusted advisor, because even though you were trustworthy, you were woefully ill-equipped on the “advice” part of a two ingredient recipe.

Your prospect asked you questions, you had no answers. Instead, you fumbled around with some response that left everyone in the room dumber for having listened to it. You didn’t know to say, “Great question. I am going to ask a couple people on my team and call you this afternoon with our view on that.” Wanting to appear confident, you were afraid of not knowing. And you were afraid of making a mistake and losing a deal before you were even out of the starting gate.

To make good sales calls, you first have to make 199 really bad sales calls.

You have to speak somewhat negatively about your competitors. You have to be super defensive about your pricing, not really understanding why you are worth paying more. You have to run back to your sales manager to negotiate a price concession because you don’t know know that everyone asks for a discount, and that you can defend the value you create.

At some point, you make a really good sales call. It feels like magic. But you can’t repeat it. Yet, occasionally, a flash of brilliance, and you repeat that magic.

The way to be good at anything is to do it enough times that you are no longer bad.

Filed under: Sales Acumen

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