Pre-call Planning

This is the first of a series in Business-to-Business (B2B) selling tips; I hope you find them helpful.

Before any sales call approach is ever made there should be preparatory steps to plan because if we consider that any call you make face to face could cost in the order of $100.00 average per call in Australia, in some cases even more, then you need to plan. Next I want you to consider yourself as a business person and ask yourself this question...if I invest $100.00 in this call what is my return on investment (R.O.I), what is the sale potential and have I fully planned this sales call, think of it as your $100.00.

Questions to be answered as part of pre-call planning: -

  • What do I know about the company I intend calling upon with a view to presenting my company and its products or services for a potential sale, should I be calling on this type of business?
  • What is the sales potential for this business that I intend contacting?
  •  Who is the decision maker for my types of products or services...remember this is the person who approves the orders or signs the agreement?
  • How do I intend initially approaching them?
  • What am I going to say or lead in with that will capture their interest?

Pre-call Planning Tips

  1. Research the types of businesses you intend to target.
  2. Research the companies you intend contacting to qualify that they are the correct companies to initially contact.
  3. Research who the decision maker is in each company, sometimes you may have to go through another employee first to finally reach the decision maker....where do you find this information...internet, phone books - even electronic types, papers, magazines, etc.
  4. Plan what are going to initially present, also consider electronic media...i.e. Lap Top or Notebook with presentation software, even a Smart Phone is a powerful tool in the right environment. You may like to practice your sales presentation beforehand, first impression counts. Also consider personal presentation details etc., as well.
  5. Plan how you are going to initially approach the chosen contact...i.e. Sales Letter, Sales Email, Phone, Walk-in visit, etc.
  6. DO NOT make any sales call without an appointment, even if the customer just says you can come at any time, in this case propose a time that is suitable for you. Remember your potential customer/client’s time and your time is valuable, don’t waste it otherwise you may waste your investment $100.00 just trying to see the correct person or worse sitting around waiting...Time is Money (Benjamin Franklin).
  7. Present your company and its products or services professionally...Be a Sales Professional.
  8. Follow-up on all each sales call conversation details and promises.
  9. Plan your next call thoroughly.
  10. Repeat process for all new contacts, review success, and adjust where necessary.

What is that old saying...People never Plan to Fail, they just Fail to Plan.
(Winston Churchill said "He who fails to plan is planning to fail" during World War II)

You only have 24 hours in one day, some of which you are sleeping...Plan for Success.

Good Selling, Stephen Hampson - Sales Image.