How to Start a Sales Call

“Hi is that Martyn?”


“It’s James from (Organisation) I’m calling to let you know about the offer we have at the moment for membership. We’re waiving our joining fee this month.”

“I appreciate your call James but it’s not something I’m considering at the moment, thanks for your call though.”

This was exactly how a telesales call that I received recently went. It was a very short conversation! It could have gone differently if James had used a different approach. He was calling about me joining a business organisation.

There are a few things James needs help with:

  1. The reason I answered is because I had a call scheduled from a company with a sales training requirement and I thought it might be them. As soon as I realised it wasn’t, my immediate reaction was “how do I get you off the phone so I can be on the call I really need to be on?”
  2. Although I knew the organisation he was calling from he led with a discount price offer, so do businesses only join if it’s cheap enough? In which case what’s the quality of the organisation and benefits like?
  3. He did no research about my business- a fantastic sales training consultancy! He didn’t even reference it when he spoke to me. I’m really proud of the name Gold Dust Training and there’s a story behind how it got the name too. Most business owners consider their company to be their baby!
  4. He didn’t time condition me. A simple courtesy like: “Have you got a couple of minutes…” The call was an unexpected interruption and my curiosity factor went from 10/10 to 0/10 in a few seconds. Even if he was offering free membership I would not have continued the call because I needed to speak to my client.
  5. Unfortunately he sounded nervous, lacking confidence, if he doesn’t believe what he’s doing and is passionate about it how will others be, did he actually want to be making these calls?

Here is what he could have said:

“Hello Martyn, this is James from (organisation) our members are businesses which could be a good potential audience for your sales training and coaching. Have you got a few minutes to find out if our membership offer would be useful for Gold Dust Training?”

This opening statement takes 10 seconds to say and delivers a piece of value in each sentence: “our members are businesses which could be a good potential audience for your sales training and coaching.”

It implies there is a potential market for my Sales Training & Coaching. I’m curious!

Plus: “find out if our membership offer would be useful for Gold Dust Training?” Good because this implies I have a choice and there is a potential offer to entice me. Provided the value is built!

And there is a permission to continue statement: “have you got a few minutes?”

The fact that it’s short allows for quick interaction from the recipient. If it’s convenient to talk, we can continue. If it’s not, we can schedule a later phone appointment with a commitment to continue the conversation.

What would be really great too would be for James to connect with me on LinkedIn to build our relationship. Imagine if he read this blog too and decided to call me back!

Think about how you can communicate value as quickly as possible to your audience and why they should listen. This will increase your chances of continuing the conversation if you would like further help please get in touch on 07580894232 or email









3 Sales Tips

Here are 3 quick tips which can help you create more opportunities. These have all come from conversations I’ve had with clients and salespeople this week and are typical business challenges we all face:

Is The Problem Really The Problem?

How often do you think you’ve found the opportunity to help only to discover later it wasn’t really a big enough issue?  The trouble is we put in all this hard work Prospecting and navigating our way to the people we need to speak to that we are almost grateful that they continue the conversation!

If you have situations like that it’s time to pull back and be more objective. One way to do this is to ask a gauging question like “How important is that to you?” or “How much of an issue is that to you?” or “What would happen if you continued that way?”

What Are The Consequences Of Not Making The Call?

I get told by participants that they are worried about making calls to existing clients to ask if there are any further areas they can help with or issues to resolve. At least if you find out this stuff early on you have the opportunity to do something about it which the client will see as helpful and proactive. Here’s the consequence if you don’t: Today one of my connections told me he is about to switch provider because his existing supplier wasn’t responsive and communicative enough on multiple occasions when he contacted them.

Meanwhile he’s heard about the reputation of another provider and had personal feedback from some of their clients which gives him enough social proof to decide to take action and switch! The new provider has had to do nothing to gain this client other than being diligent and thorough and growing his reputation as a result!

Make Alternative Recommendations Especially If You Can’t Help!

I met someone this week who told me that they went into a business to help them with the requirement that they specialise in. It turned out that the issue wasn’t what they handle so they walked away. They didn’t want to create a solution for something that wasn’t a real problem and take money for the privilege, which is great…  BUT they identified another issue and then left it!

What they could have done is to make a recommendation or suggest suppliers that could help rather than just leaving them high and dry. That Prospect would appreciate the goodwill and maybe recommend them to their own connections.

There is always an opportunity for us in the world of sales sometimes it’s very well hidden- what do you think? For more sales advice call me on 07580894232 or email




Make More Sales in December

I did a workshop for some Field Sales people this time last year and the Sales Director decided to have a competition to see who could make the most appointments, it ran up to the end of December.

The team consisted of 10 people including 2 new starters and 8 of varying time in the role. It was a simple objective: appointments counted if they were for anytime in the rest of December and up to the end of January.

As a result everyone had a better than usual start to the New Year but some had an amazing start. Guess who, yes –you’re right, the two new starters! Their fresh views meant they were not impacted by barriers others perceived. They even beat the top performers.

As a Sales Trainer I’m very fortunate to work with all sorts of salespeople. There are those who might be underperforming and need more support to turn things around. Those that do a good performance and just need to ask a few better questions or be reminded of things that work. Then there’s the exceptional performers- they do two things:

Invest in self development, always thinking of and researching ways to improve then taking action and never let up, even in December.

They do stuff others don’t do and everyone can learn from the way they see opportunities particularly in December:

It’s the easiest time of year to get through- there’s less meetings going on so availability is better.

People are in a more relaxed frame of mind, more receptive.

There may be some budget left over which can be made available.

They are thinking of how they can invest in the coming year.

They are not getting as many calls as salespeople take their foot off the gas.

The competition is doing less activity

December makes all the difference!