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20 Things NOT to do on a Sales Call

20 Things NOT to do on a Sales Call

Here’s a list of 20 common-sense things NOT to do on a sales call:

  • #1. Flirt with the admin. It may seem tempting, but unless you’ve got soap-opera-quality looks, chances are you’re only going to annoy (or even alarm) the admin, who will tell the boss. Instead: Stay polite, friendly and respectful.
  • #2. Talk more than you listen. Initial sales calls are all about relationship building and gathering information, which you can’t do if your mouth is moving.  Instead: Get curious about the customer and ask questions.
  • #3. Comment on the memento. The last 372 people who came into that office remarked about the signed baseball on the desk.  Ho-hum…  Instead: Research the prospect and ask about the prospect’s job.
  • #4. Pretend to drop by. Who are you kidding?  Do you think that it’s going to cushion the rejection if you pretend that it’s not a sales call?  Instead: Have something important to say or sell that justifies your presence.
  • #5. Answer your cell phone. Ouch! Ouch!  What were you thinking?  How could any telephone call be more important than a real live prospect?  Instead: Turn it off and leave it in your briefcase.
  • #6. Overstay your welcome. Your prospect has hundreds of other things that he or she could be doing, rather than spending time with you.  Instead: Set a time limit for the call.
  • #7. Let the meeting meander. This isn’t the time for a wandering conversation that slowly gets to the point or a long series of complicated questions.  Instead: Provide brief agenda of how you expect the call to proceed.
  • #8. Argue with the customer. If the customer doesn’t agree with an important point, arguing is only going to set that opinion in stone.  Instead: ask the customer why he holds that opinion; then listen.
  • #9: Discuss politics or religion. Such subjects are almost always a trap into opinionated quicksand that’s hard or impossible to get out of.  Instead: keep the discussion on business or neutral ground.
  • #10: Dive into your product pitch. Sure you’ve got something to sell, but if you pitch too soon, you’ll get pitched out the door.Instead: Ask questions to understand needs, before you pitch.
  • #11: Arrive late to the call. If you don’t arrive on time it tell the customer clearly that you don’t give a damn about them or their time.  Instead: Always arrive 15 minutes ahead of time.  If you drive to calls, get a GPS.
  • #12: Appear flippant or sarcastic. A good-natured laugh at a joke might be taken personally by someone watching out the window, without hearing the context.  Instead: Watch your demeanor at all times.
  • #13: Lack requisite product knowledge. The prospect doesn’t want to hear “I need to get back to you about that”…over and over. Instead: make sure you’re trained on your current products and policies…before the call.
  • #14: Fail to plan the call. Sounds simple, but trying to close when should be qualifying (for example) is a lost sale.  Instead:Never enter a door without first thinking about what you plan to accomplish.
  • #15: Be too business-like at first. Remember you’re building bridges with another human being, not just a notch in your sales gun.  Instead: Smile and be friendly… but don’t get too gushy.
  • #16: Show up with a crowd. If you bring too many people, it will draw customer’s comments about why your costs so high Instead: Use webconferencing when you need to include additional resources.
  • #17: Fail to check your appearance. Don’t show up with something amiss that a quick stop in the client’s bathroom could head off.  Instead: Make a quick pit stop – with a look-over – before the call.
  • #18: Forget the customers’ names. What could be more embarrassing than actually forgetting whom you’re talking with? Instead: Write down the names down of everyone in the room with a small table diagram.
  • #19: Be rude to the admin. No flirting, of course, but if you act all arrogant and superior, you’ll just antagonize the help. Instead: Be friendly and respectful of the staff – admin and otherwise.
  • #20: Ask personal questions. You may think that the customer is your friend, but you can easily screw up if it gets too personal.  Instead: Keep the conversation focused on business issues, especially the customer’s needs.
  • Ref:Bnet


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