Make the Call…Now! By Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter”

The goal in sales is to make sales. And the way you make sales is to get customers to buy.  Excuse me for saying this, but that’s pretty simple.

There’s nothing complicated to it. No exotic formulas. In fact, it’s pretty boring.

If this is the case, then why do so many salespeople have a problem contacting customers?  And by “contacting customers” I mean actually contacting them – not waiting for them to contact you.

Far too many salespeople believe even in this economy that business will simply fall in their lap from customers who want to buy from them.  Sorry, but those days are gone. To make sales, the salesperson has to be driving the process.  This means not wasting time thinking about contacting a prospective customer, but actually doing it.

In more than 30 years of sales experience, I can’t tell you the number of salespeople I’ve encountered who have spent far more time thinking about calling prospective customers than actually doing it.

Yes, I do know it takes thinking on the part of the salesperson to make the right call – but again, excuse me for saying this, but a salesperson can’t think about it forever and never do it.   I call it the “I need to think through one more time what I’m going to say” syndrome.

Let’s be real here.  This is nothing more than a lame excuse. The only way you can deal with this problem is by simply picking up the telephone and calling.   The longer the salesperson thinks through what they’re going to say and all of the things the customer may share in response, the more the salesperson believes now is not the time to call.  If they don’t think it’s the right time to call, then they may simply take the easy way out and send an email.

This stuff drives me nuts!

If you’re a sales manager reading this, it should drive you nuts too!  If you’re a salesperson and you sense you’ve had this problem at one time or another, then I hope it drives you nuts too!

The solution is simple. Pick up the phone and call.

My belief when it comes to prospecting is simple – if in doubt, pick up the phone and call.  The only exception I’ll make to this rule is if the call is being made to a CEO or some other person with whom you know the opportunity is huge and you have only one shot at making the call.  In those situations, you do need to make sure you are incredibly prepared.

But most prospecting calls are not to the CEO.

One of the best ways to discipline yourself in making calls is to set aside a dedicated time each day when you will make prospecting calls.   It might not be the same time slot every day, but on your calendar there should be clear blocks of time set aside to make calls.

I’ve found that if I don’t schedule vital activities like prospecting, it is much easier to forget or postpone.

Be sure you don’t use the time you’ve set aside to fall back into the trap of just thinking about the customer. If all you do is spend this time thinking about calling, you’ll never make the calls you need to make.

Trust me. There are plenty of calls you need to make.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. To find out more and to see the numerous sales tips he has, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com.