“Winging it” is a bad idea

We’ve all heard the guy with the scripted presentation. No matter what you say, he has a canned reply. It is sooo obvious. I suggest you try something similar yet different.

To be clear, a scripted sales call is literally what you say in the conversation.  They are effectively used in call centers selling vacations and aluminum siding. It’s about consistency in brand and product. For most of us, this is too canned an approach in face to face selling.  It doesn’t allow us to go “off script”.

The alternative is to “wing it” on a sales call. There are those days when you’re in the groove, it just flows, and you are on your “A” game. Then, you lose your “mojo” and fall into a slump where nothing works. How do you get “it” back?

Consider these five steps to a really good sales call:


In those opening few minutes ascertain if your prospect wants to chat, or get right down to business. You’ve seen it. This one wants to re-hash the weekend ballgame. The next just returned from vacation and wants to tell you about it. Then, there is the no frills, let’s get down to business prospect. Figure it out quickly and react accordingly. C’mon it isn’t that difficult.   Those few minutes building rapport with your prospect or customer sets the mood and everyone can relax.


Here’s where you shift into business mode. Explain your reason for the call and give a quick agenda. Then, confirm how much time you have with prospect. You demonstrate that you respect their time and you’re well-prepared.  Be sure to ask if there’s anything they would like to add to the agenda.


Next step is to uncover a need, a pain, a desire to make a change. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes, or no. Develop a few good open ended questions without referring directly to your product or service. Concentrate totally on your customer. As you ask more questions and listen intently you will learn where and how you can best help them. The more your customer talks, the more you learn.


Based on the answers you received from your questions, you can offer expert advice, show options and make suggestions. Make specific recommendations that directly address the problem you have uncovered with your customer.   Be careful to not offer too many options. You are the expert, you should know the best solution.

Wrap up

At this point you should move to the next step (not always the final step) in your sales process. Too many salespeople subscribe to that old saw “always be closing”. Prematurely asking for an order can be counterproductive. Often times the next step will be setting up A future meeting. Your customer agreeing to bring his team together for another meeting can be a “close”.

These steps bring organization to your sales call. Tweak as you like, but have a structure you follow. Having structure allows you room to show your style and expertise without getting lost.


Sales quote: “Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average”

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