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Sales Conversations: Who Should You Be Calling Next?

More quality sales conversations equate to more sales. So how do you create a steady flow of sales meetings on your calendar? If you have a consistent flow of people calling you to do business each week then I say, bravo. If not, and your pipeline’s a little weak, how easy is it for you to know who you should be calling today and why? Is it more common for days to go by before you make your intended calls? Is your list in your memory, scattered or buried in paper or a simple address book? If you answered yes to any of these questions you have a motivational drain associated with poor contact and list management. An organized and categorized sales list can get you excited and ready to call so your calendar remains full and your sales are consistent.

Having an organized list can be similar to when you visit your favorite restaurant. There’s no need to look over the menu. You simply place your order because you know what you want. The decision of what to have is usually made the moment you decide to head there. Not having an organized list can be like visiting a new restaurant with a confusing menu with 100’s of items. Making a decision of what to eat can be a laborious process. At your favorite restaurant it takes no time to decide.  You feel great and ready to chow down. Making a decision at the new restaurant can tire you out and might leave you second guessing or admiring your neighbors plate.

Not having an organized calling list is a killer to making your calls. A good list should tell you who, when and why to call someone. Without a list you end up spending energy sorting through your collection of names and numbers similar to the confusing menu. Often during this search for a person to call we can be distracted and the calls aren’t made.

Creating an organized list will require a system and set-up.  Keeping your lists organized means you’ll need to be disciplined and dedicated. Let’s first talk about some possible categories to organize your lists into.

List Categories
Future Customers/Clients: These are more than “prospects “ or “suspects”. They are people you have already connected with but more trust needs to be built. They’re a good fit for the type of customer you prefer and have a need for your service and available funds now or budgeted in the future.

Referral Champions: These are people that have no problem with you asking frequently if they have another referral for you and have provided referrals in the past. There’s usually a mutual benefit for them to refer business to you.

Referral Network: These are the people that trust you (clients, vendors, friends, family, etc) and with some continuous education and information about how you help your customers and clients will make an introduction for you from time to time.

Influential Connections: These folks will introduce you to more people that can introduce you to more people and new customers.

Marketing List: This is your target list of prospects that should be in an Opt-in drip marketing campaign of some sort that you don’t usually call on until they raise their hand for more info. You do work with marketing or yourself to entice them to raise their hand.

Cold Call List: If you are not generating enough opportunities with your referral efforts you need to make some cold calls to a targeted list of businesses that “might” need or want your services. Make sure you have scrubbed this list to be targeting your preferred type of customer.

How to Keep Things Organized

  1. All contacts should be in your database or CRM.
  2. Create a group, type, tag, label, or category (whichever term your system uses) to attach to each of your contacts.  Each contact might have more than one label.
  3. Create a next step field or “activity/task” each time you touch or call one of your contacts. This should allow you to generate a report or the call to show up on the date set in the next step.
  4. Create a report organized by your groups that will pump out who to call each day.
  5. Review the list before you leave for home the night before so you can schedule the time to make your calls.

When you come in to work the next morning it will be like walking into your favorite restaurant. You’ll know exactly whom you’ll be calling today, why you are calling and ready to enjoy delicious sales conversations.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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