How to Make a Successful Sales Call: Break 3 Habits

BY Rachel Cagle
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No matter how experienced of a sales rep you are, you are bound to have picked up at least one bad habit over the years. What’s worse: You may think that habit is how to make a successful sales call. In his recent article for HubSpot, Jeff Hoffman exposes a few of the most common bad habits salespeople overlook that result in making bad sales calls.

How to Make a Successful Sales Call: Break These 3 Habits

Early Prospecting

You may love your job. However, few people are completely functional before they have had their morning coffee and time to sort through their inboxes; especially on Mondays. Even so, many sales reps develop bad habits because they believe in the saying “the early bird gets the worm” when, in actuality, mornings are the worst possible time to make sales calls, says Hoffman. “When your buyers are starting their day, they are deeply engaged and focused on what they have to do that day. Since your call is an unsolicited interruption, you are more likely to be greeted by someone who does not want to talk to you.” If you can’t reach an engaged prospect, you will not earn a sale. If you want to know how to make a successful sales call, don't makes calls first thing in the morning. 

Flaunting Your Homework

Everyone knows you need to do your research on your prospective customers before making your sales pitch. Where this turns into a bad habit is when you begin subconsciously bragging about the amount of research you have done on them by flaunting facts about them that you have dug up. This can include TV shows that they are into or where they went to school. According to Hoffman, prospects are, “not thinking about how much homework you did on them or how impressive you are. They are trying to determine if you are offering a solution to their problem.” And doing too much homework into the prospect's personal life can make you seem like a stalker.… that's not how to make a successful sales call. So, research what the prospect’s needs are and showcase that in your pitch instead. Stopping your research there will also save you time that you could be dedicating to prepping your sales pitch.

Getting too Chummy with the Gatekeeper

Assistants, receptionists and other gatekeepers can be frustrating roadblocks to contacting the decision-​maker. However, do not fall into the bad habit of acting familiar with the gatekeeper. Bad sales calls happen when you are falsely overly familiar with people you have never met before. Hoffman says that, instead of acting overly friendly with the gatekeeper, treat the gatekeeper with the respect that they deserve. After all, they are the ones who your prospective customer trusted to keep unwanted callers who could waste their time away. Hoffman says to replace your “Hi, [gatekeeper’s name]! Is [prospect’s name] in?” with “Hello, I’m looking to get in touch with [prospect’s name] and am wondering what the best way to reach them is." Be upfront and honest with whoever answers your sales call and you will get further than faking familiarity.