Definition: Sales Call
Sales Call is the face-to-face meeting between the Salesperson or seller and the prospect or the customer to generate business by the mode of discussion. Usually, it may or may not be a prearranged meeting, but if it is, then it is carried out at the convenient time of both the buyer and seller.
The term Sales calls can be explained in many ways. Firstly, the sales call is a meeting – face to face – with the customer. But in terms of Tele-Sales, it is also considered as a discussion between buyer and seller at a mutually convenient time. Sales calls are a way by which the transaction of sale can be carried out.
Usually, sales calls are necessary for technical and high-value equipment wherein the salesperson has to convey the message and justify the price of the product to the buyer. There is a discussion on the technicalities of the product and its advantages over competitor products. This discussion can go for multiple sessions, and if needed, technical evidence needs to be produced to justify the fact of the product to the buyer.
Then comes a part of the negotiation in which the buyer may negotiate the price of the product from the seller. The negotiation sessions may also turn out to be occurring multiple times, depending on the expectation of the buyer and the seller.
Once the deal is struck, then it can be termed as the sales transaction is completed. Multiple sales calls may be required during this time by the salesperson.
6 Essential components of Sales Call
One of the crucial things in a sales call is having excellent mastery over communication. You can have the world’s best product, but if you don’t communicate properly at the right time and with the use of the correct phrases, then you won’t be able to send it to the customer.
Communication does not only include the spoken words but also consists of the body language and the gestures and even the tone that is being used to communicate. Every salesperson should have excellent communication in order to convey the message to the customer. The use of polite language whenever necessary and balanced use of assertiveness in the language will help to close the sale.
Asking questions at the right time and of the right type is essential. For example, asking open-ended questions would open up the customers, while closed-ended questions will Generate a single word response. Both are crucial in a sales call, but one should know which to use when.
One can have less product knowledge, but having excellent communication skills is a must for a successful Sales call. This is one of the crucial components which can convert the customer and generate the business.
The next important component of a sales call is the presentation. The Salesperson is expected to have excellent presentation skills so that the message to be conveyed is properly reached to the customer and there is no misunderstanding.
Presentation skills include projecting your product or service in the right way after understanding the needs of the customer so that the product can be placed in the minds of the customer uniquely. Demonstration skills are also classified under presentation because the salesperson is expected to give demonstrations of his product or service properly to close the sales deal.
Use of technical language proper examples and making the customer understand the benefits of the product and also Communicating it clearly is very important to close the sales deal and for a successful sales call.
3. Follow up
Another component of the Sales call is follow up. Regular follow-ups are required with the customer in a sales call in order to convince and convert the customer. Most of the sales deals of high-value equipment or corporate sales do not happen in a single sales call.
Weeks or even months of follow-up is required to close the sales deal. Every sales call must be considered as a follow up of earlier sales calls. The previous sales call can be considered as an excellent call opener.
For example, starting with “As we were discussing in the last visit about the features of this product, I would like to know your feedback about the same.” This statement will set the tone of the call, and it will make it more productive and focused. This also states that you mean business and projects your professionalism.
For a successful sales call, it is essential that the salesperson has to have an excellent understanding of his product or service so that he can discuss it confidently with the customer. The product knowledge will also help the salesperson to counter any arguments about the competition that he may combat while talking with the customer.
Having product knowledge is one part of knowledge, but the other part is equally important, which is having sales knowledge which comes from experience. The sales knowledge can help to convince and convert the customer from Competition easily.
The success of Sales call depends on the consistency of the salesperson as well as on the consistency of the sales call. The customer may be busy many times, and it so usually happens that the salesperson forgets or does not pursue the customer.
One of the basic rules of Sales never takes no for an answer. So even if the customer says no in a sales call, the salesperson should not remove the focus on the customer entirely but postpone the buying status.
For this, the salesperson should consistently follow up with the customer enquiring about other things as well. Steadily, the customer starts trusting the salesperson and eventually materializes into a sale. This happens only if the salesperson has consistent Sales Call
6. Positive attitude
The final but essential component of a Sales call is having and maintaining a positive attitude. Sales calls can be demotivating sometimes owing to cold shoulders or responses from customers, and it may take a long time to convert the customer and close the deal. What is essential is not to lose hope and have a positive attitude.
This will help the salesperson to achieve consistency and have proper follow-ups without losing hope. A positive attitude is also essential during the sales call. It so happens that we come to know that the call is lost during the discussion.
It is necessary to maintain a calm mind along with a positive attitude and find a way to make the losing sales call, winning again.
Importance of Sales Call
1. Sales or Business:
The ultimate expected outcome of any sales call is to generate business by making a sale. Only when the transaction is confirmed, a sales call is termed to be successful, and if there is no sale, then the productivity of the sales call is difficult to measure.
There can be several other parameters to measure, but they won’t be as substantial as measurable as a sale. The more the deal, the better is the sales call and vice versa.
2. Customer Relationships
One of the critical reasons for the Sales Call is to develop customer relations. Customer trust cannot be established in one sales call, but multiple sales call over a period of time are required in order to build trust and maintain it.
In some cases, the salesperson has to establish his importance first, and then the customer slowly starts to build trust; in other cases, it takes excellent customer service or after-sales service to build a long term trust. The sales call is a tool by which customer relationships can be improved for a long term success in business.
3. Competitor activities:
Another purpose of a Sales call is to understand the market and competitor activities. Sales call invites discussions from customers, and discussion leads to market knowledge. Talking to a competitor customer can also help to understand competitor strategy, and this knowledge can be helpful to the company in order to strategize about their products.
A competitor update is also essential for the marketing department in order to form a marketing strategy. Market information like growth rate, number of competitors, customer needs, and market trends can also be understood with a compelling Sales Call.
4. Customer Needs:
Sales call helps to uncover the needs of the customer. If done correctly, with excellent probing skills, the salesperson will discover the needs of the customer during the sales call and address it successfully using his offerings.
For example, if a customer is a photography enthusiast and is having a One Plus phone, the salesperson can probe and understand that since the customer is more into wildlife photography, it requires him to go in the night more often and requires a feature called optical image stabilization.
So instead of a phone with 12GB RAM, the customer requires an excellent photography phone for night time, and thus he would offer Google Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro Max. This would come up during Sales call only after a detailed discussion with the customer over his needs.
5. Personality development:
Believe it or not, a sale is a profession that develops the personality of an individual. A salesperson has to work on communication, professionalism, excellent behavior, and politeness, and all of these contribute to an exceptional character. Part of the job of a salesperson is to meet several people a day and travel to multiple places.
This improves the people-understanding ability of the person and soon develops the habit of making relations with people in no time. Dealing with challenges is also a part of the sales job, and this also contributes significantly to personality development.
Advantages of Sales Call
For the salesperson, after doing multiple sales calls, it improves and imparts a sense of confidence in him. Talking to numerous people about the same product improves his knowledge and command over the product.
The salesperson becomes more confident in representing himself in front of different people. The salesperson also becomes optimistic about solving any hurdles or difficulties related to his products. Striking confidence during the sales call does more than half of the work.
The Sales call aims to generate business for the organization. If the sales call is done regularly and consistently, then a regular stream of business is created. Business is a significant part of sales, but the other part of it, which is equally important, is making sure that your product reaches the right audience.
The salesperson has to promote the product of his company and make the customer aware of all the offerings. The customer who shows interest is the one who should be worked upon by the salesperson.
Regular follow-ups, consistency, and other techniques are used in order to convert the customer and make the transaction happen.
Apart from business, the other part of the sales call is to form ties with the customer. Relationships are useful in business as well as beyond the industry. If the salesperson is genuine, then there will be a win-win situation for both customers as well as the seller. In terms of business, a satisfied customer can act as word of mouth for other customers and convince them to buy the product by explaining the benefits that he has specifically experienced.
In terms of nonbusiness situations, there can be multiple occasions where the customer may come in help to the salesperson. All of this will be possible only with a regular sales call.
The other advantages of sales call is that there is personality development of the salesperson, the company gets to know about competitor activities, the customer gets to know about available offerings of the company in the market and there is a win-win situation for both the customer and salesperson if the sale is closed as the need of the customer and transaction of salesperson, both are satisfied with a sales call.
Disadvantages of Sales Call
- Sales calls can be very frustrating at times when all the customers turn a cold shoulder towards the seller. It happens when the salesperson may be new and inexperienced or when the competitor has worked very well. In such cases, the salesperson, without generating any business, suffers negativity towards the work. It is essential to have a positive mind when such situations arise.
- Although there is a lot of money, Sales calls are laborious, which is not an easy job and may not be suitable for everyone. There is extensive traveling or multiple hours of standing on feet in case of store sales, or in case of telephonic sales, there are numerous rejections that can be annoying and discouraging for a salesperson.
- Too many sales pitches can be annoying for the customer also. Customers may end up rejecting genuine offers if there is excessive sales pitching by multiple salespeople.
- There are times when the market is down, and in those instances, the deals may not happen. Such incidences are frequent every few years due to multiple factors like economic slowdown and governmental interferences. At those times, the salesperson may be unproductive for no fault of his own. In such cases, the company cannot remove the salesperson and he turns out to be a cost for the company without productivity.