Sales Strategy: Take the Pain out of Making Sales Calls

Sales is a five-letter word.

Sales – it’s the five-letter word that seems like a four-letter word to entrepreneurs. When Adams Hub surveyed its entrepreneurs, they discovered that fear of sales calls was a top reason for business stagnation. So, if that’s you, know that you are not alone. The phone can weigh 500 pounds sometimes. However, not making sales calls is a pretty good non-action to take if you plan on tanking your business. Oh, you don’t want to go out of business? Then perhaps you should read this.

There are a few reasons why entrepreneurs fear sales calls.

  • They don’t know the market they are selling to.
  • They aren’t clear on what they are selling.
  • They don’t know how to start the conversation.
  • They have poor conversations because they fail to listen and ask questions.
  • They are fixated on the outcome of the conversation.

Let’s take these one by one.

Research: If you don’t know who you are selling to or why they might be interested in what you have to offer, you are sinking yourself before set sail. Often, when your sales strategy is too broad it can produce anxiety. Narrow your target and you can fine tune your message.

Clarity: Once you narrow your target, you can get some real clarity around how you can serve them. Without this clarity, you may set yourself up to have an awkward conversation with no direction.

Icebreakers: Questions are great icebreakers. Be sure, whatever icebreaker you choose, it helps you connect in a reliable way. If you were at the same conference, you may want to connect about what you are learning.

Connect: Look for ways to come together and see eye to eye. This will help build rapport and connection. Curiosity + Connection + Conversation = Cash. I have a whole presentation I put together on this which is available when you join the Explore Momentum community. Contact me for an exclusive invitation.

Outcome: Let go of the outcome. Sometimes a connection will result in a referral. Sometimes it will result in a sale. Yet other times, traction develops down the road. Get out of the outcome and let the natural flow of the situation surprise you.

Do you find sales calls challenging? Share your best tips in the comments below.

Metrics: Regular maintenance of your company’s condition

Hallelujah! This month, I paid off my Mercedes ML350. And I couldn’t be happier. However, something I must continue doing if I want to keep driving my baby is maintain it. This applies to business as well. If you want to maintain your company’s health, you need to do the work to keep it healthy. Here is an easy maintenance checklist you can use to make sure your business is tuned up and streamlined for long-term health.

  1. Lead funnel
  2. Sales process
  3. Cash flow
  4. Budget check
  5. Customer relationship management
  6. Team structure
  7. Team culture
  8. Technology
  9. Infrastructure
  10. Legal structure

Let’s break this down.

Lead funnel and sales process: How do customers get introduced to your company? What path do you walk your customers down to guide them to a sale? This is your lead funnel. You service your lead funnel with a well put together sales process. This may include a combination of tactics such as social media, article marketing, newsletters, personal calls, gifts and value added incentives, and bundling, among others. A review of your process on your business maintenance checklist, whether it be annual or multiple times a year, will keep your sales machine humming.

Cash flow and budget check: Cash is king in business and cash flow, along with budget control, is important. Cash flow is created by a good lead funnel and sales process. To monitor your cash flow in relation to sales, you will want to keep an eye on overhead, conversion rates, and cost of team, partners, or employees. Marketing costs should have a conversion rate associated with it so you can tell what is working and what isn’t. Cash flow and budget management is the oil on a business maintenance checklist that keeps a business moving along smoothly.

Customer relationship management: Once you have a customer, you will need a system to manage that relationship. This covers the way customers are communicated to, inside or outside of a sales process. It also relates to how they are invoiced, how issues are resolved, and if you have a mechanism in place for referral. Customer relationship management is the steering wheel that keeps everything on track. Be sure its on your business maintenance checklist.

Team structure and team culture: Your team carries the vibe of your organization. They can either take you higher or shoot you in the foot. Do you have the right players on your team? Do you have the right roles in place? Do those roles actively add to the bottom line of your company? Additionally, you need to do a pulse check on how everyone works together. Does your team buy in to the company culture? Is your work place one of harmony? These are some questions to consider for your business maintenance checklist. Good team structure and team culture will propel your business forward.

Technology, infrastructure, and legal structure: This is the frame of your organization and something you should never leave off your business maintenance checklist. Review your technology. Are you using the best software for your needs? How about hardware? An equipment failure at the last minute could put you behind. How are you doing with plant and equipment? Does your infrastructure support what you need? Is it too much? Is it too little? How are you doing legally? If you are a sole proprietor, have you grown to the point where you need to consider becoming an LLC? What legal structure suits your needs?

If you need help with your business maintenance checklist, you can also hire a coach once a year to check out all the moving parts. A coach will give you outside perspective which is necessary to avoid driving with dim lights or a tail light out. A different point of view could make all the difference in the ongoing maintenance of your business.

Contact What Works Coaching if you need help.