The Ventas Group

What is a Sales Call Anyway?

ILet’s have a little fun today! Multiple choice:


Which of these is a sales call? 


  1. Cold outreach to a targeted prospect 
  2. A warm call with a referred prospect
  3. Progress update with a current client
  4. Catch up call with a previous client


Do you think sales calls must always be to people you don’t know and require you to become  someone you’re not (i.e. a pushy salesperson) to make them? 


Or, are you someone who can really only manage a sales call when there’s been a warm introduction? Being rejected feels terrible and a warm call reduces that risk, doesn’t it?


What IS Selling?


Selling is NOT persuading people that they must buy whatever you’re selling. Selling is about serving and helping people solve problems, especially for B2B service businesses selling expertise. That might mean uncovering additional ways you can add value to an existing or previous client.


Folks, the answer is e), all of the above. There are opportunities to serve existing clients as well as new potential clients in any interaction. 


Do you believe in your product or service?  Of course you do! You KNOW there are people you can help whether you know them or not. When you can think about your sales calls as conversations with people who you can most likely help, you can feel good about it.

Lisa Wilson, a business connection of mine, put it this way: “When I think about “selling” or “prospecting” I don’t want to reach out but when I think of service or adding value I have no problem making those calls.”


The Hustle is Real, but it Doesn’t Have to Be Icky


It still amazes me how many business owners and entrepreneurs have a visceral reaction to the thought of selling. They are so afraid of sales calls and the possibility of rejection that they do almost anything to avoid them. 


And yet, they also acknowledge that selling is essential to their businesses. They skate by on referrals and ‘warm’ introductions, hoping that will be enough to keep them afloat. 


New Business From Existing Clients is More Profitable


What’s really interesting is that even people who are uncomfortable making cold calls still perceive selling as new business from new prospects. Is there something sexier about new business? Sure, there’s an excitement around winning new accounts, but strictly from a business growth and profitability point of view, developing more business from existing customers costs far less. 


Especially if you’re uncomfortable selling, how about looking for new opportunities within existing client accounts? Or finding out what’s changed in previous client accounts? Maybe there’s a new way you can add value or solve a problem. Nothing ever stays the same, in your business or your clients’ businesses. 


The New Definition of a Sales Call


Calling a previous client for a catch up can be a sales call. Checking in with an existing client can become a sales call. Getting to know someone referred to you by a networking partner can be a sales call. And of course, reaching out to a researched, highly targeted prospect can be a sales call. 


Remember, people who reject your offer are not rejecting YOU. They’re simply saying no to your offer right now. So long as you approach your sales calls, whatever they look like, with the idea that you’re helping people solve problems you’ll feel a lot better about making them. 


Go make some sales calls, especially to previous and existing customers. And then, keep making those sales calls regularly and consistently. Your bottom line will thank you!

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