The Ventas Group

Sales Call Checklist

Unless you’re selling a product online, every small business owner needs to have sales calls. Call it a discovery call, a one on one, or even a meet and greet, it’s still a sales call.  Chatting with a referral? That’s a sales call!


Use this checklist to improve your sales calls so you can get more clients:


  •  Is the prospect qualified? This is your first priority!
  • What can you find out about this prospect or his company ahead of time?
  • Do you have a glass of water or hot mug of tea?
  • Notepad and pen?
  • Distractions eliminated?
  • Positive energy *


*This one is critical for cold calls. To get a free sales meditation email me at with Meditation in the subject line.


Successful Sales Calls


What can you do to ensure that sales call goes well? Keep in mind that many sales calls are actually qualifying calls in disguise. Unless you have some sort of pre-qualifying process prior to setting up an appointment (see here for an excellent example), one of the most important things you’ll be doing is determining fit.


Does this prospect:


  • Need what you provide?
  • Match your target client persona?
  • Have the required budget to invest?
  • Give you a warm, fuzzy glow (rather than the heebie jeebies)?


If you aren’t answering yes to of ALL these questions, do the courageous thing and tell this prospect that he/she isn’t a good fit for what you offer and suggest someone else if possible.


Preparing for the Call


Folks, there is simply no excuse for turning up for a sales call without knowing the basics about the prospect. Anything that is in the public domain should be reviewed. You can certainly take that further, with some more sophisticated search tools, but at minimum you should plan on reviewing the company website and the contact’s LinkedIn profile.


Now you’re prepared to ask intelligent questions about things that need clarification and the issues you perceive.


A few other things you should have on hand:


  • A glass of water or a warm honey and lemon drink – you’ll mostly be listening, but you want to ensure you voice is as warm and friendly as you can make it – don’t clear your throat! This aggravates your vocal cords more.
  • A notepad and pen
  • Your pre-prepared questions
  • Whatever you need to focus completely on your prospect (yes, you should close all windows on your computer! I find a pleasant outdoor view helps too.)


During the Call


Depending on your age, connecting with others via the telephone is somewhere on the continuum between extremely uncomfortable and like a chat with your best friend.


The key here is to focus entirely on the other person.  Pause, and breathe before you begin. When speaking make your voice as warm and as human as you can.


If you’re on the phone, listen like you’ve never listened before. If you’re on Zoom, do NOT look at yourself.


Ask permission to take notes, and take them.


Here’s a framework for any sales call:


  1. Rapport
  2. Review                        
  3. Issues and goals
  4. Problem solving


Now you’re all set to have warm calls!


Handling Cold Calls


If you’re truly making cold calls, you’ll need one more thing.


Positive energy.


Not just because you will leave a lot of voicemails, hear some nasty no’s and maybe even get some hang ups, but because Every. Single. Call. must transmit the same warmth and positivity as the first one. This takes a tremendous amount of energy and is one of the main reasons none of my team (and me!) make calls full time.


Nothing terribly complicated, right? Preparation, focus, warmth, and positive energy. You’re good. Go make some sales calls!

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