The Importance of Pre-Call Planning | radioinfo

The Importance of Pre-Call Planning

Sunday 10 December, 2017
Image: Shutterstock

Peady's Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

Being prepared and having done your pre-call planning are two critical components of setting up a successful sales call. It takes time but ultimately helps set yourself up for success.

One of my favourite sales trainers and authors Jeffrey Gitomer puts it this way: “There is no prize in sales for second place. It's win or nothing. The masters know this and strive for - prepare for - fight for - that winning edge

So how do you prepare?

Pre-call planning is more than checking the address and contact details, then setting your Google map. However, very few salespeople do much more than that!

Very few do the research and preparation they need in order to make a productive call. Even fewer obtain the information to determine if this is an opportunity to build an effective solution.

Personally, I’ve been on too many accompanied sales calls that start with me asking “So tell me about this client, what’s his role, what’s the background?" Only to be told by the rep “This is our first meeting, I think he’s the manager, so it will be just a general meet and greet.”

Don’t be that salesperson! Great pre-call planning gives you the edge that Gitomer calls “the winning edge”.

Effective pre-call planning

Here’s the six steps to ensure you confidently and professionally set up your client (or customer) meeting:

  1. Have a clear outcome in mind. What do you want to happen as a result of the meeting? What do you need to do to achieve the outcome?
  2. Do the research. Check the customer’s website, his LinkedIn profile, other social media, past history in your CRM system, previous campaign activity.
  3. Prepare a VBR and introduction. What’s the VBR or valid business reason for the meeting? Ensure your introduction and call opening has a “why” or WIIFM angle.
  4. Have your critical questions ready. They need to relate to your research, focus on the prospect and their business, tie back to your outcome and be solution focussed.
  5. Expect objections.  Depending on the type of sales call, you should anticipate the most likely objections. How will you respond? What is your fall-back plan?
  6. What are the next steps? With your outcome in mind prepare a strategy so you and the client are in agreement on where too next. Wrap up the meeting with a plan.

Oh, and ensure you have the correct contact details and address so you can turn up at the right time at the right place!
Vince Lombardi sums up preparedness

The famous US football coach sums it up with this great thought: "The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win"

Until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at



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