What to do Before you Meet

Back to Basics Sales Strategies – The Pre Call Planning Worksheet

Whether you’re just starting out in Sales or are a seasoned professional, the basics are still vital to your success. Since most companies focus their training efforts on product and market information and not best practices for salespeople, it falls to you to make your own way. Developing good basics, like scales on the piano or free throws in basketball, is vital. Practicing good basics hones the skill and increases the income of even the most experience salesperson.

The Pre-Call Worksheet is something that’s fallen by the wayside in many of the more technical sales environments. With the advent of CRM software like SalesForce.com, Microsoft’s Business Contact Manager and Sage’s ACT!, salespeople often feel like once a prospect is entered into the database they’re ready to make the call, hold the meeting or make that pitch. Not true! You’ll find you are much more productive, focused and get better results by doing your homework in advance. What follows is a generic template that should apply to any industry, with sample information filled in. The purpose of this sheet is to get you thinking along the right lines. Customize it to fit your business, but don’t leave any of these 5 Questions out! You can record the Questions and Answers in your CRM, or simply print out this worksheet and do it by hand. Once you’ve completed the worksheet, make sure you bring it into your meeting or keep it in front of you during the phone call for easy reference. After you review this, finish off your call strategy with a plan for after the call

Pre-Call Planning Worksheet

  1. What do you want to accomplish during the call/meeting? (multiple goals are fine, samples below)
    1. Set meeting with decision maker
    2. Uncover 3 opportunities
    3. Get an order
    4. What do I need the prospect to know about us/product?
  2. What does your prospect want to accomplish during the call/meeting? or Why are the meeting with YOU?
    1. Dissatisfied with current vendor (WHY?)
    2. Hard closed on meeting
    3.  Interested in product or service
  3. What do you want to find out?
    1. What the prospect is paying now?
    2. Is this a decision maker?
    3. What is the process to become an approved vendor?
  4. What questions might your customer ask? AND how will you answer?
    1. How does your widget compare to ABD?
    2. Who else uses your widget?
    3. Return/shipping?
  5. What closing questions might you use?
    1. What’s our next step?
    2. When can I schedule delivery?
    3. Should I meet with purchasing first or just expect a PO?

    Remember, you may earn commission when you close a sale, but you earn your living in preparation.