Guest Post by Brenna Lofquist Optimization Specialist at Microsoft

Sales is an inevitable part of every job, the outcome just depends on how you make your approach. After college, it seemed whichever job I was going to take, involved cold calling and I was absolutely dreading it. Over the past few years I have identified a few things that have helped me to refine my strategy, which would be useful to others.

Always be confident

If you are not confident in what you are selling, customers will know and it will be harder to be successful. Do whatever it takes to make sure you are confident and comfortable with what you are calling about.

Research

Try to find out as much about the person that you are trying to contact. You will not only be more familiar when speaking to them but you can ask better questions and have shown them how much you care.

Keep it short

If you say too much you will lose the customer and they will become uninterested with what you have to say. Write something down and then figure out a way to pull out the most important pieces of information to use in your pitch.

Always be closing

One major step that is often forgotten is actually asking for the sale. Don’t expect the customer to jump out and say “Yes, I’m in!” Also, you should be integrating the close into every step, not a climax at the end, let’s face it everyone is going to expect that.

Follow up

It is important to come up with a clear follow up plan on the call and communicate it to the person you are speaking with. For example, let them know you will be sending a calendar invite to talk next week at a specific time. The follow-through can make all the difference, it shows the customer that you are serious.

Some are intimidated or nervous when they think about having to make sales calls however, if you can get over the feeling and figure out a way that works best for you, you are only setting yourself up for success.

Be confident, don’t be afraid of rejection and get used to hearing “no”, this doesn’t mean they won’t say “yes” at the end of the call. Once you start viewing objections and questions as opportunities instead of obstacles, sales calls will quickly turn into your new favorite way to acquire new clients.