Your potential client hangs up the phone, your first sales call with her is over. You made a good impression, and believe the customer is truly interested. Are you going to let her enthusiasm burn out, or take action to keep her interested?
You’ve done everything well and provided her with all the answers. You basically shared many facts, opinions and data, at least half of which she didn’t write down and will soon forget.
You don’t want your potential client to forget the points you worked so hard to prove during the call. Your job now is to summarise the most important information – so that you’re both on the same page next time you connect.
Create a helpful summary
What should be the form of your summary? You could send a:
- plain-text e-mail
- PDF file you attach to a short message sent after the call
Personally, I prefer sending a PDF. It’s more official, you can present condensed information in a pleasant-to-read way.
Plus, you can have a template (only with the core, necessary information) to send in standard client cases, and then this task boils down to attaching a file and writing a short message.
Content is key
The way you present information should be appealing, but the most important part is obviously the content of your summary.
What does a proper summary have?
- “Thank you” – be grateful for the time they sacrificed to discuss your offer (well, if you do your job right the call is focused on them, but more on that subject here).
- Brag – that’s right, everyone loves to brag. Clients like success stories, and this will build your own confidence too. For instance, share how you got an award, did a huge deal, send over an awesome testimonial or describe your company’s achievements.
- Process description – when you offer services or SaaS. Do not make it longer than it has to be, you probably already described a lot of the details during the call. Write it out in a short list. A good practice is to send print screens or a video of your platform (in the case of SaaS). The best thing you could do here is also to provide a instant access to a demo/trial of your product.
- Pricing – statistically the biggest deal-breaker. You need to implement it into the whole summary so it doesn’t weirdly stand-out amongst other information. I’m not saying hide it – the quicker they see the price, the better. Pro-tip – don’t put pricing at the end of your summary. It looks as if you don’t want the person to reach it. Also, they might already be talking to your competitors, so if the quality is similar in your market – lower price will be your client’s priority and they’ll be looking for pricing first.
- Define next steps – what I do is I include information about when specifically I want to contact them again, and how (call, meeting, e-mail, chat). You could even send an invitation to your calendar, to make sure they don’t forget.
That’s it, send over your summary and prepare for your next connection.
Check out this template of a summary I would use (or scroll down and read on):
Truly a pleasure speaking to you on our Skype call today! Thanks for spending those 20 minutes with me.
As I told you during the call, we deliver high-quality leads for B2B tech companies. I`m sending a short summary – you can find all the numbers and facts I told you about in the PDF attached to this e-mail, or below.
Out every 100 e-mails sent, on average we get:
• Open rate: 40% +
• Response rate: 20% +
• Positive response rate 10%+
• Bounce rate less than 1%
To us, positive responses are answers which indicate interest. For example:
“Let’s talk about it on Skype”
“Let’s set up the meeting”
“Send me your offer”
“Who do you work with in my country?”
“Not right now. Get back to me in 3 days”
Of course, there are projects which don’t fit into the stats. Perfect examples are in our case studies which you can find on our website.
We can outreach your potential clients wherever people use the latin alphabet. That means we don’t operate in Russia, China or Middle East.
Most of our experience comes from Europe and Anglosaxon countries. Obviously we get the best results in countries with high internet and smartphone penetration (more data means better results).
Facts and figures:
We’ve done hundreds of projects for over 130 clients from 14 countries.
We work with a broad spectrum of clients. Among the popular ones are SMT Software, Datev, Kontakt.io, Divante, Elastic.io, iTaxi czy Minubo.
RightHello took off in january, 2014.
Our team already consists of more than 20 employees.
XevinLab supported us as VC.
As we agreed, let’s connect again on Monday and figure out how we could help you grow faster. Please, let me know in case you need assistance or have questions.
Follow-up after a demo call
In case I’m not asked by the client to call her and continue our discussion, I use a short e-mail to follow-up first, something like this:
I hope you’re well!
As we agreed on Skype, I’m circling back to continue our discussion about the potential cooperation of RightHello and ABC Limited. Have you had time to review this possibility with the rest of your team? If so, I’d appreciate it if you share your conclusions.
If you need my assistance or have questions for me to answer, just let me know and I’d be happy to help.
Looking forward to your reply.
If anything changed in your company since your last connection, you can include that information Post Scriptum (it proves that your company is constantly growing).
You’ve probably noticed that I don’t try to force or convince the person in any way. At this stage in the sales cycle, it’s too early to be pushy.
What 200+ decision-makers have taught me
That’s how many CEO’s, Marketing or Sales Managers, etc. I’ve talked to over the last 12 months, and I’ve noticed a few typical client responses after the initial call:
- My mind is set, let’s start! – an angel’s harp couldn’t sound sweeter to my ears. This rarely happens, and I aim to finish the deal ASAP.
- I’m interested, but not quite ready yet – a tricky case. You can never be sure whether it’s true, or the client just likes you too much to let you down. Anyway, your job, in this case, is to find out when they’ll be ready so you can get back to them then they could be waiting for some trigger that would let them work with you (more cash, new team members, end of a project – it’s a long list of possibilities). Try to find out what it is to mention it next time you connect.
- Follow-up with content, add them on Linkedin, add them to your newsletter – be persistent in building a relationship. Waiting for the trigger almost always takes longer than they expect, so you need to nurture and follow-up from time to time, not to let a good lead go cold. (read more about following up)
- No, thanks – it’s never pleasant, but you can still benefit from your discussion if you ask for feedback. What made them disapprove your offer? What would convince them to buy? If they consider you awesome but just don’t see a business fit, ask for referrals (if you did your job well, they probably won’t mind it, especially if you use our way of asking for referrals)
- No reply – the worst scenario. It happens a lot (that’s why sales is a game of numbers). All you can do is give your best to try and re-start the conversation. If it’s a qualified, high-priority lead, follow-up until you get a response. In these situations, I first send 2 e-mails with 48 hours in-between. Next, I try to call them. If that fails too, I do a combo – e-mails, calls, SMS, Linkedin in emails and Skype messages. Still not lucky? After thirty days I send a “break-up” email, asking if I have their permission to close their file, and saying that no response means “yes”.
You should always send your potential clients a summary of your first call with them. It has to include:
- A “thank you”
- Process description
- Definition of your next steps
If you’re not asked to connect again, send a short e-mail to express that you wish to do that.
After the initial call, different clients can be at different stages in their buying cycle:
- My mind is set, let’s start!
- I’m interested, but not quite ready yet
- No, thanks
- No reply
As you can see, your performance during the call is only a part of the whole process. But it’s fundamental to your overall success. Calling, emailing, eye-to-eye conversations – those are some of the things that you have to approach differently than anyone else, and the sooner you learn the basics – the better.
This way it will be easier to add to what you already know. And there’s always something more you could do to improve your hustle.
This is the third (last) part of my “Anatomy of a Sales Call” mini-series. If you haven’t looked at part 1 and 2, you can check them out here:
Check also our case studies – here