If you’re an online service provider, chances are hosting successful sales calls is the bread and butter of your business.
I mean, it’s much easier to sell yourself (cause that’s what you’re doing, with a side of skills!) face-to-face than any other way, right?
So needless to say for some (or most!) the pressure felt leading up to a sales call (aka 20 minutes that could be the difference between you paying your bills or not) can be real AF!
If sales calls stress you TF out – I feel ya sister!
Getting on a call with a potential client used to feel like excitement and nerve-wracking terror wrapped together in a convenient 20-minute block on my calendar – taunting me with every reminder notification I wish I hadn’t set up.
While it’s a standard step for most online service providers (think VA’s/OBM’s/Graphic Designers/Copywriters/etc.) in order to get new clients into your business, it’s not something that EVER came naturally to me, so I avoided them at all costs.
No joke – I would literally message back and forth on Facebook with potential clients for DAYS if it meant not having to get on Zoom for 20 minutes – and my business growth suffered for it.
But once I bit the bullet and started hosting sales calls with potential clients, my online business skyrocketed to 6-figures in a matter of months!
Hosting a successful sales call (and yes, YOU are hosting!) requires a P-L-A-N if you want to end the call with a solid idea of the project at hand, and a client who’s ready to sign on the dotted line!
Don’t get me wrong, connection is key (and we’ll touch on that further down!), but don’t get caught in the trap of making a friend instead of making a sale – the two should go hand in hand.
In my decade of experience in online-land, I’ve not only been on the service provider side of the call, but have hired my own team, which has given me the chance to see things from both sides of the table.
During my biggest round of hiring a number of things were highlighted as major DOs and DON’Ts when you’re on a call with a potential client, so naturally, I’m laying it out there to help you nail your own calls from now on!
5 Tips For Successful Sales Calls
1) Be HUMAN
“You mean, DON’T try and pretend like I’m some robot that will slave away day and night to make their every dream a reality?”
It’s not only important to actually connect with people on a person-to-person level when you hop on a sales call, but crucial to laying the groundwork for your boundaries and establishing healthy expectations.
It’s not all business and numbers, there are people running the show!
Kicking off the call by sharing a bit about yourself that others may be able to relate to (i.e. location, kids, pets, hobbies, etc.) helps on a number of sales-boosting levels…
- Makes you more memorable if you can establish something you have in common – people remember people they can relate to.
- Helps you connect with the potential client on a personal level – and if it comes down to any online service provider and someone they feel friendly with, who do you think is landing the gig?
- Breaks the ice/nerves and build trust faster than anything else! Remember that this could be their first sales call to hire a team member as well, so they could be just as nervous as you!
Bottom line: Next time you kick off a call, let your business take the backseat to your real-life as you kick things off…there’s plenty of time to talk business after you build that connection!
2) Ask questions
Asking questions is key in showing that you did your fucking homework!
There’s nothing worse than getting on a call with someone who hasn’t even tried to see who you are and what you do, but wants your money!
In a world where you can learn literally everything from occupation and marital status to favorite foods and whether or not they speak fluent GIF (my native tongue!) from their Facebook profile, there’s no excuses.
You don’t need to spend hours playing super-sleuth to prepare either.
Simply asking about one of their main offerings, or plans for a certain program they run, shows that you not only took the time to check them out before the call, but that you’re genuinely interested in knowing where they’re headed (and coming along for the ride!).
3) Contribute, Don’t Control
This can be a tricky one to sidestep if you’re a nervous-talker, but I promise if you can nail this down the impact is crazypants.
Leaving space for both people to speak and explain what they’re hoping to accomplish is crucial to getting to know one another, as well as understanding the needs of the business.
Not only that, but this call is your potential client’s ‘sneak peek’ into what the working relationship would look like, so you should both leave the call feeling heard, and confident that communication will be clear AF and enjoyable!
If someone is new to hiring, they may need some guidance to steer the call where it needs to go, so it’s completely ok to guide the conversation to keep things moving…Just remember to leave that space!
4) Talk ‘As If’
Years ago, I started closing my sales calls in a different way, and the impact it had on my client roster was jaw-dropping!
Talk ‘As If’ simply means that at the end of the sales call, you speak as though you’re already working together (provided you want to work with that client of course, but that’s a whole other post!).
I would start by letting them know when and how they can expect my proposal, and then explain the next steps to reiterate what services I’d be providing them, what we’ll be taking on their plate, how we’ll stay in contact, etc…all the juicy stuff!
This approach skyrockets the perception of value before you’ve even sent them a proposal, and creates excitement as you plant the seed in their minds that the work that has been driving them crazy is going to be taken care of, and shit’s about to get a whole lot easier!
Being super clear on next steps also shows them that you’re going to be communicating regularly with them, and gives them a sense of comfort since they know what’s coming next (and every Mama knows that comfort is key when someone’s stepping in to help care for your ‘baby’!).
5) Follow up
Let’s face it, these people aren’t looking for support in their business because they have ridiculous amounts of time to just sit around in their inbox – they’re busy AF!
Follow up until you get an answer, and never assume that no answer is an answer of ‘NO’!
This is a great way to show you’re persistent, determined, and organized.
Which also keeps you top of mind even if you’re not the right fit for them, but they know someone else that’s looking!
I break down my actual follow up timeline I use after a sales call in the free Sales Call Blueprint below!