The Guarantee
December 12

5 Deadly Sales Call Pitfalls

Good old-fashioned sales calls are making a reprisal given how few salespeople are leveraging them anymore. With digital communication now serving as the preferred form of initial outreach to new prospects, there is a sizable opportunity for sales reps skilled at making a truly skillful sales call.
The resurgence of this timeworn sales technique is like the opportunity that now exists in the direct mail space, given how dependent brands have become on email and social communication. When you send a powerful direct mail piece, consumers now pay more attention. Likewise, there are now significantly fewer salespeople calling on your prospects, making them more receptive to your call – but only if you are superbly skilled.

To ensure your calling effort pays off, be sure to avoid these five deadly sales call pitfalls that can kill your success rate.

Fearing the phone: Making calls to a stranger can be intimidating. The only way past it, however, is to power through. The more calls you make, the more you’ll realize there is nothing to fear. Often, a salesperson’s fear manifests itself as the feeling that there is not enough time to make enough sales calls. If you’re willing to let call reluctance get in your way, respectfully, the sales profession is probably not for you. It takes a courageous soul to make it in sales, which is why the compensation opportunities are plentiful.

Rehearsing too much: While it’s a best practice to create an outline or script of your conversation, the idea is to get comfortable with it and then put it away when you’re on the phone. What matters most is your ability to have an authentic, engaging conversation, and if you’re looking at your notes, you can’t be truly present on that call.

Being overly exuberant: Yes, there is such a thing as too much enthusiasm on a sales call. It can make you sound too aggressive and desperate to close the sale. What you want to exude is confidence.

Talking too much: You have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Ask high-impact questions of your prospect and listen intently; it demonstrates that you have more interest in your prospect’s needs than your own, which improves trust and increases the likelihood of advancing the sale.

Putting your prospect on a pedestal: It’s important to treat your prospect as an equal, especially if you’re calling the C-Suite. There is a power dynamic at play, and how you perceive your role in that dynamic becomes quickly evident during a sales call. Executives rarely want to talk with salespeople, but they are much more receptive to learning something new from a peer. Be their peer.

Master the art of the confident, conversational, engaging sales call, and you will win business.

Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO and founder of RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at

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