As a natural introvert, I had some trouble setting my sales career in motion. During my first month or so as a BDR, I rolled zeroes for quota every week. It took a lot out of me, but as much as I struggled to find my bearings on my calls, I didn’t let my nerves get the best of me.
I did my research, came to understand my business, practiced, listened to my managers, tried, failed, and tried some more until I finally found my footing. And once I hit that groove, I started meeting or exceeding quota consistently and never looked back.
Along the way, I learned certain strategies to help me gain my composure and nail my sales calls — and now, as the Head of Sales Development at Skillz, I try to pass those techniques along to the org I manage. But the value of those tactics isn’t specific to my team.
There are certain tips and tricks that any rep can employ to get the most out of their sales calls, and in this article, I’ll share a few with you.
How to Get Fired Up for Your Sales Call
1. Do your research.
Have you ever felt so prepared going into a meeting or call that you know you’re going to crush it? That confidence and excitement come from prior planning — the bread and butter of successful salespeople.
Before going into a call, set time aside to learn more about your prospect. Form a plan outlining exactly how your offering is a solution to their problems, and be the trustworthy expert who can help make their lives easier.
As you research, look for reasons to get excited about your upcoming call. Do you have shared interests? Are you speaking to a company in an exciting and groundbreaking industry? Seek to understand who you’re speaking with — you never know what you might find!
2. Be an expert.
In addition to knowing your prospect, know what your offering does inside and out. It (literally) pays to know every small nuance about what makes your product or service the best choice for the person you’re speaking with and how it differentiates from solutions like it.
I used to dread hopping on the phone in the first few days of starting a sales role. But as I learned more about my industry, product, and the value we could bring, I became that much more confident. Calls became exciting when I finally knew I was fully equipped to address concerns and answer even the most technical of questions.
3. Make yourself laugh and smile.
Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Do you know the prospect on this call is going to be tough and abrasive? Have a calendar of back-to-back meetings? Prepare by putting yourself in a positive, high-energy mood.
Do the things that make you happy or fire you up. Nothing is off the table! Listen to pump-up music. Stare in the mirror and make stupid faces at yourself, or even eat your favorite dessert! Just do whatever puts you in that mood to be positive, helpful, and focused.
4. Stand Up, walk around, and use your non-verbals.
Regardless of whether you’re speaking to someone on a video or phone call, stand up, walk around, and use positive body language. For one, standing gets your blood flowing, relative to sitting — helping you think clearly and focus on the conversation. Second, more than 70% of communication stems from our non-verbals, and neglecting this fact on a call can be disastrous.
It doesn’t matter whether a prospect sees you or not. There will always be a subconscious alert going off in their heads, telling them something is off when we don’t act as we speak. Use your hands to convey meaning, and always talk to someone as if they were sitting in front of you.
5. Stare at plants right before you connect with someone.
Okay, I know this one sounds a little out there, but hear me out! Sometimes, we wind up getting too fired up for a call — to the point where we start feeling tense and anxious.
We all want to do a great job, move our prospects to the next step, close deals, and so on and so forth. But sometimes we get carried away and wind up putting ourselves in this hole of overthinking the situation.
Enter plants — nature’s medicine. Nature and greenery have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as boost mood and creativity. Does that sound like something that would help you crush a sales call? If you’re a believer, stare out the window at some trees or the plant on your desk right before getting on that call. I, personally, am a huge fan of getting succulents for my team.
Calls can be nerve-wracking, especially with larger clients or when there’s a massive deal on the line. In situations like that, you need to clear your mind and breathe. When our breathing is off or shallow — sometimes subconsciously — we cut off the resource that allows our brain to function at peak performance.
What I’m saying here is a quick 30-second meditation can be key to hopping into that call with your game face on. So close your eyes, take deep and thoughtful breaths, then get on that call with a clear mind.
LeBron James put it best — when he was on the sidelines at halftime during the NBA finals, he wasn’t thinking about the game he loved and knew like the back of his hand. Instead, he meditated to get his mind right before getting back on the floor.
Now, this list of tips is far from exhaustive — and you might have a routine of your own to get yourself in the zone before a call. Still, I can vouch for the techniques detailed in this article. They’ve worked for me, and if you give them a shot, I bet they’ll work for you.