TeamTop sellers know this first call is a make-or-break situation for them. If they do well, they’re given an opportunity to advance the sales process. If they don’t, they’re shoved out the door as quickly as possible. 

Because of this, top sellers spend many hours preparing for this critical first meeting. They research the targeted account in depth. They scrutinize the research looking for where their products or services might add value. 

Top sellers identify success stories to share, cull out the key points, and practice the stories aloud. They know exactly what the logical next step is in their sales process and set up the call to flow in this direction. They write down questions to ask and take this list into the meeting.

What top sellers do may seem like it’s a lot of work, but it’s the price of admission for doing work with big companies. It’s why their meetings end with the prospective customer saying things like:

  • “We need to keep on talking.”
  • "We have to get Tony involved.”
  • “Can you come back next week and meet with...”
  • “Where can we see one of these working?”
  • “How soon can we get started?”

These are the types of responses every seller dreams of hearing at the end of their meeting.
Unfortunately, more often than not they hear:

  • “Thanks for your time; if we ever need one we’ll give you a call.”
  • “We’ll think about it and get back to you.”
  • “It’s not exactly what we were looking for.”
  • “You’re too pricey for us.”

There are three critical reasons why most sellers don’t win large contracts from big companies:

1. They don’t invest enough time preparing for the meeting.
2. They don’t understand the components of an effective initial sales meeting.
3. They focus on their own offering – not the prospective company’s business needs.

This Sales Call Planning Guide walks you through all the steps necessary to pass the first test with a large corporate client. And, everything in here works great for smaller companies too. To get the most out of this guide, use it to prepare for a specific upcoming customer meeting. 

Start your information gathering and planning at least one week prior to your scheduled meeting time. It’s a lot of work, but once you master this process the payback will be well worth it.

Have a question about preparing for sales calls? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!

About the Author(s)

Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. Her newest book, AGILE SELLING, focuses on helping sellers get up to speed quickly in today's sales world.

Author/Speaker, JillKonrath