Why you should always book future meetings on a call, not after

Sales conversations are rarely over in one call.

Most sales conversations take two or more calls, unless you’ve got the sort of product/service that potential clients are ready to buy before having a conversation.

Assuming that isn’t the case, we look at why and how you need to book your next call while still speaking to a prospect, instead of confirming it afterwards.

Why one-call closes are rare?

As a general rule in sales, the more a potential client is going to spend, the longer a sale takes. Lower-ticket items don’t take as long to sell.

It isn’t only down to price. Budget is always going to have an influence over how a sales conversation goes. When larger budgets are at play more people are involved. And especially now, of course, when economies are weaker companies are going to take longer making purchasing decisions.

Beyond budgetary concerns, you’ve got stakeholders to consider. Salespeople have to speak with or influence more stakeholders than they did in the past. All of them could have different motivations behind wanting to go ahead with something, or stopping it from happening. Depending on what you are selling, of course.

Consequently, once you’ve got a call booked with a buyer, it’s likely that you are going to need at least one more call to close the deal. Between those calls, it’s usually the case that salespeople are preparing proposals and gathering anything else a potential customer has asked for.

Why you shouldn’t end a call without booking the next one?

There are a few good reasons you need to be proactive about booking one call while still talking to your prospect.

People get busy. They forget.

In sales, time is everything. Time is money. You can’t let a sale roll from one week or month into the next without any kind of proactive effort to keep it on track. No one is going to do that for you.

Even if a prospect needs to rearrange, you’ve got something in the diary.

Send a calendar invite, with the relevant link for the call, so that your prospect/client is ready for the next one without having to think about it.

Expecting buyers to work out when they can talk next is giving them another piece of work. It adds to someones to do list, rather than taking care of it straight away. Now with this global pandemic, people are juggling more than just work, money, family and other worries.

Not only are you helping move a sale forward, you are helping a potential new customer, and being kind to yourself too. You don’t need to worry about booking in calls; if you do that while on a call, then that work is already done.

How to book your next sales call, while talking to a prospect?

Assuming a call is going well, then you are going to get to a point when you need to talk about next steps.

Next steps usually involves having another call. Making this the perfect chance to ask:

“Shall we get that call booked now then?”

“When would be a good day and time for you?”

“Do you know when you are next free to complete the follow-up actions?”

Naturally, ensure what you say fits comfortably in with what you’ve been talking about. Don’t simply throw it into the conversation without preamble. Also, if a prospect has already said they’ll be getting back to you about booking in the next call, then don’t ask at this stage.

Be proactive about it. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Whenever possible, get a fixed day and time.

Send a confirmation email. Make sure they confirm, quickly, or book in another day and time.

It’s that simple, but so easily overlooked. Getting booked in means you don’t need to worry about doing that job later, and nor does your prospect or client need to worry either.

Benefits of booking on the same call

  • No need to worry about waiting to sort this. Your job is done, on the call, instead of after;
  • Makes it easier for your prospect/client, as you’ve not asked them to do something else after the call;
  • Ensures the sales process is moving in the right direction down the pipeline;
  • You can record that the next call is booked in the CRM, and update your manager;
  • It gives you a fixed date to put together anything you need to send before the call, or discuss on the call;
  • Likewise, it gives your client/prospect time to get anything over you need to move forward;
  • Great way to demonstrate to your client/prospect that you are proactive. It’s a good indicator of how your company is going to serve them.

Equally useful indicator of what a new potential customer is going to be like. If they are quick at getting what you need, then brilliant. However, if they’re difficult, or take a long time, then you are soon going to find out.

Once you’ve got the next call booked with that prospect/client, you can move swiftly onto the next one. Helping you close more deals in the same space of time.

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