As a web designer and a small business owner I’ve often had to make sales calls to followup on leads.

When I first started out I was intimidated. A 19 year old kid trying to sell a full blown website to a business professional. Through the school of hard knox I’ve learned two basic principles for making sales calls.

  1. Ask questions and listen

    Don’t do all the talking, listen. We have two ears and one mouth. The ratio should give us a clue about how much they should be used. If you’re genuinely interested in what the client has to say and are listening to provide a solution to their problem, it will show.I’ve learned that a phone conversation is so much more valuable than sending an email. Email is more like a monologue, while the phone is a dialogue. I like to get on the phone, ask questions, and then close my mouth and listen.

  2. Know your stuff

    Of course in order to ask the right questions it’s important to know your product or service to the core. If you do, asking the right questions will be easy. Since the point of the phone call is to see if your services can help make a difference for your client, it’s important to fully know what you can offer.Learn everything you can within your area of expertise, and be willing to tell the client when you don’t know something or are not completely familiar with how something works. The honesty will be refreshing.

Realizing that I really just need to listen and ask questions has made a huge difference in making sales calls. I get on the phone with the client, introduce myself, then ask how I can help. Obviously I lead with different questions as the project progresses, but really I’m just there to listen and figure out how my services can be a match for their needs. That’s it.