You know you have to do them.  You know that they are the foundation to a profitable business.  You don’t have a choice…the dreaded sales call.

You may have lists of names of people to follow up Phonewith.  People you’ve met at networking events. Someone that somebody else suggested you get in touch with, heck even former customers.

How do you get yourself to pick up the phone?  What do you say?  How do you get someone to call you back?

It’s not as hard (or as horrible) as it sounds.  Follow the following five rules and before you know it you’re going to be looking for people to call because you’re having so much fun.

Rule 1:  Ask for permission.  That means that if someone picks up the phone, don’t assume that they’ve been sitting around waiting to speak with you.  Ask for just a minute of their time and schedule a time to speak with them more deeply.

Rule 2:  It’s about them.  The question I hear most when it comes to sales calls is “What do I say so that they’ll want to speak with me?  I can’t just say, “Hi, I’d like to have a sale call with you, can we speak on Monday at 2.”  Remember, you are asking for their time, it has to be about them.

Rule 3:  What would you respond to?  This is key.   Imagine you got a phone call from someone asking for your time.  Or someone left you a message asking you to call back.  What would make you say yes?  What would make you want to return the call? Would you call someone back who said “I want to speak with you about three ways you could improve your profitability?”  Or would you be more likely to respond to someone saying “I’d like to get to know you better because I have a lot of contacts and want to be able to make the right referrals for you.”  Now, I’m not saying that one of these is right or wrong … the question for you to consider is what would you respond to?

Rule 4:  Be of service.  I was speaking with someone a few days ago and it became obvious to both of us that the services I offered were in line with what she needed.  We scheduled a time to talk.  When we began that conversation, I did not launch into the ways she could work with me.  First and foremost, we investigated.  I asked her questions about her business and what she needed.  I asked her questions about the support she was getting and the support she was missing.  It was about discovering what she wanted and what she needed, only then did we discuss the services I had to offer her.

Rule 5:  Smile.  You’re going to get a lot of “nos”.  Many people will not call you back.   If you truly believe that you are calling people to help them and not help your bottom line AND smile as you make these calls, the people who need your help will get it and you will enjoy reaching out to people, making new connections and solidifying the ones you already have.

How could using these rules change your perspective on sales calls?  Go ahead and add your comments below and get on the phone.