There are so many benefits to sales calls that you just can’t get with email conversations. While I’ve had many successes over the years with sales calls, I’ve also had to learn the hard way in some circumstances.

Learning how to make a sales call is absolutely crucial for getting new clients.

So how can you do it?

I’ll share the knowledge I’ve built up over the last 20 years of making sales calls, and give you a basic structure that you can follow when you’re planning your own calls.

Let’s start by looking at the different types of sales calls.

What Are The Different Types of Sales Calls?

There are actually a few different types of sales calls, and it’s good to know which one you’re going for, as they all require slightly different strategies.

You can read more about this in our post about different types of sales calls, but here are the types in a nutshell:

  • Cold Calls – this is when you call potential clients or customers with no prior contact at all.
  • Warm Calls – this is considered by many to be more successful than cold calling, and involves calling a potential customer that you’ve already had some contact with.
  • Prospecting – these are a little like slightly more refined cold calls. You’re not just calling at random, but you’re calling people you’ve researched and think may be interested in your product or service.
  • Sales Appointments – this is the call in which you’re going to give your pitch or presentation. This is a call in which both parties know why they’re there and are prepared to have a serious discussion about working together.
  • Follow-Up Calls – these calls are pretty self-explanatory. You’re just following up to check if they’ve made a decision about using your product or service.
  • Service Calls – these are useful calls in which you can check how your client is feeling about your product or services, and check if they’re having any issues.
  • Product Launched Calls – this is to let your current clients know about a new product or service that may suit them
  • Free Coaching Call – this is a great one because it gives your potential new clients or customers some value (in free coaching) while also upselling your services. They can get to know you and your expertise, which will hopefully make them want to pay for more information.

Preparing for each one looks a little different but once you’ve nailed the process, you’ll be able to refine your technique, and it’ll get easier over time.

The Importance of Having a Sales Call Process

Why is it important to have a sales call process?

Because it will make you feel – and sound – more confident.

Some people are really good at making things up on the fly, but a lot of us do better with a little structure and planning.

Having a process to fall back on still allows you to be spontaneous depending on the person you’re talking to, but it also gives you a framework to lean on to make sure you’re hitting all the points you need to make.

So yes, a process is really key to making sure you cover everything you need to in a sales call and are fully prepared for any questions or objections.

How to Make a Sales Call The Right Way

two people working on how to make a sales call

I’ve had many successful sales calls over the years. But I’ve also made a lot of mistakes to get to this point.

I’d like you to avoid some of those mistakes if I can, so here’s how I think you can make a sales call the right way.

Do your research for a successful sales call

I’ve covered this more in my post on How to Create an Incredible Sales Call, but preparation is so vital. Most of your time is going to be spent on the preparation for a call, and the more prepared you are, the easier making a sales call will be.

The more you know about your potential new client or customer, the more you can think about how your product or service suits them. And that means that they’re more likely to connect with what you’re offering them.

Think about tone

Be positive, polite, and respectful. You can go as formal or informal as you prefer. You might like an upbeat, jovial tone, or you might prefer something more formal. Both work and you can even vary it depending on how you connect with your client.

As a general rule, don’t badmouth your competitors. If your product is good, you won’t need to do that. The benefits will shine through without having to be negative about another company.

Be ready for questions

This is covered in the planning stage, but before you go in, make sure you have a list of possible questions ready. That way you’ll have them close to hand if you need to give your client more specifics.

This list will probably grow as you complete more sales calls. The more people you speak to, the better an idea you’ll get of the queries they might have.

Make it as simple as possible

The last thing your potential new client or customer wants to do is listen to a long, confusing list of services and products. Keep it targeted and as straight-forward as possible. Where you can, keep the pricing tiers easy enough to understand on a call.

Too many options can be overwhelming and it could make it less likely that they will be able to come to a quick decision. So as much as you can, keep it simple.

But don’t be afraid to use storytelling in the sales process

You don’t want to waste too much time talking about things that aren’t necessary, but storytelling can be a really useful technique when it comes to sales calls.

Every story that you tell – from your marketing copy to your social media posts to your sales calls – is an opportunity to reach a specific client.

It’s useful to open with a story. For example, telling your own story about how you got into your line of work or why you are so passionate about it creates an instant connection with the other person and makes the call more engaging to be part of. This can make your potential new client genuinely interested in what you have to say to them.

You can follow-up with all the technical details; but don’t be afraid to experiment and tell something about your personal or brand story in the call, as long as it is appropriate and relevant.

How to Open a Sales Call

Now, this is crucial. Learning how to start a sales call the right way will set the tone and hopefully break the ice between you and the caller.

Here’s how to successfully open a sales call:

  • Introduce yourself and check that it’s still a good time to talk. If the other person is very busy, this is a useful reminder for them.
  • Break the ice. This can be done by asking a question or engaging in some small talk. A couple of minutes of chat is enough to make you both feel more comfortable before you move on, although after a few sales calls you’ll be able to tell how receptive the other person is to this! Don’t let this go on for too long, but allow your humanity to show here – you don’t want to sound too robotic.
  • Outline the basic reason for the call. Say something like ‘The reason why we’re on the call today is …’ and let them know what they should expect for the rest of the call. That way you’ll both agree on the intention of the conversation and can continue with clarity.

Be friendly, open and as positive as you can. Make sure you show a genuine interest in them as a person and take time to build rapport with them.

I know it’s hard to get used to this, but it will feel more natural and less robotic the more practice you get.

Sales Call Steps

What actually happens during a sales call? Drawing from my experience, here are the key steps I think you need to follow.

Remember, though to be flexible. Your potential client probably won’t just sit there in silence for the whole call! They may interject, want to repeat certain things, or ask questions that may require a bit of explanation.

But you can keep these steps in front of you if it makes it easier to remember how to get back on track again.

The following plan is based on the idea that you’ve already introduced yourself and set up a call. In other words, a ‘warm sales call’. But you can adjust the opening part if you’re cold-calling to introduce yourself.

1. Emphasize pain points

These are the issues that your client will be dealing with that your product or services could help. You want to remind them of these pain points right upfront. You should have identified the prospect’s pain points in the prospect research stage.

For example, if you’re selling social media management packages, you might want to open with the difficulty of navigating constantly evolving and changing platforms, keeping up with the algorithms.

Keep this simple and to the point. They’ll know the implications of the problems they’re dealing with. Also make sure to listen to any points your prospect mentions so you can answer them later.

2. Tell your story

Making sales calls is a good time for some storytelling.

Taking the above social media management example. You might want to talk about what makes you passionate about it, or tell a story about how your business came to be. It can take some practice to really get this right.

But your customer will want to know why you care about this stuff in the first place. They want to work with someone that feels passionately about it. The more you can express your passion for it, the more likely they are to connect with you about it.

3. Back it up with facts

Of course, passion isn’t enough. You also need the skills to back it up.

You’ll want to give your potential new client a quick overview of your experience, which can include success with previous clients.

You’ll always want to bring it back around to the potential value for them. If you can back this up with numbers – revenue, clicks or anything measurable – this is really helpful to get them to understand why they would want to use your product or services. You’re solving the pain points with your own services.

You need to focus on this in your sales strategy as this is the crux of the call for your potential client.

4. Explain what makes you unique

You don’t need to moan about your competitors, but you can point out what makes you different from the rest. Why should they pick you over other, similar products or services?

What problems are you uniquely equipped to solve? What gives you the competitive edge?

You can prepare for this in the research stage. You’ll need to look into your competitors and be ready for your prospects to bring them up on the call with you.

The more prepared you are for this, the better – definitely don’t skip this in the planning stage when you’re doing market research.

5. Ask if they have any questions

Now is the time to present any sales objections or queries they have. Again, preparation is key to be able to answer these questions successfully. Make sure that you actively listen to them and ask them questions in return if you need to.

This is another great opportunity to show off your expertise. You can use real examples, explain about your experience, and back it up again with stats if relevant.

6. Next steps

Now you need to outline what happens next.

Don’t leave this too open-ended. Ideally, you’d love a ‘yes’ by the end of the call. Focus on asking specific questions like: ‘So, we can get you onboarded today if that works for you?’

Of course, they may well ask for more time. You can accommodate this, of course, and be polite and respectful while still agreeing on an appropriate time for a follow-up call.

You can read more about this in my guide on How to Close a Sales Call.

7. End the call

Finally you can thank them for their time, tell them you enjoyed talking with them, and hang up. The follow-up stage is the next thing to focus on in this scenario.

Free Coaching Call Steps

Now, you can adjust the above plan for a cold call quite easily. You just need to spend more time on the ‘introduction’ part. But a free coaching call is kind of different.

I’ve had a lot of success with this over the years. Essentially, you’re offering a free service, which most people find really difficult to say no to. But you’re also giving them an insight into your own skills and expertise, and making it really tempting to pay for more of your time.

A coaching call is simple. Offer a set time – like 30 minutes or so – and offer them specific advice. The introduction, or ice-breaking steps, are basically the same, but the main structure of the call looks like this:

1. Confirm their most important goals

The first thing to clarify right up front is this: what are the client’s most important goals? What is the main thing that they want to achieve?


This will help you to establish how you can help them get there.

2. Ask for specific pain points

Now’s a good time to get to know your potential customer or client. Ask them what issues they’re struggling with, or what information they’re looking for.

You don’t need to solve all of these problems. In fact, it’s better if you don’t! But you can offer them some tips and take note of the issues they’re having. That way, you can craft your sales pitch better.

Let them do the talking. You will learn so much, and it will make the sales part of the call much easier. Just make sure you listen carefully and write down the exact words they use, you’ll need this later.

3. Share your expertise

There’s a balance to be had here. You don’t want to completely solve all of their problems (although it’s unlikely you’d be able to do this in a 30 to 60 minute call anyway). But you can give them some practical, actionable tips.

You want to show them you’ve listened and that you understand their current situation. The more knowledgeable you sound, the more likely they are to trust you and to want to invest in your services for more coaching.

4. Present your services

Now’s the time to follow up with the services you can offer them in your sales pitch. Coaching is way more tempting if they’ve had time to build trust in you and they already feel safe in your hands.

It may feel a bit strange at first to switch from ‘coaching mode’ to ‘sales mode’ in the same phone call. But it will get easier with practice and because you’ve understood them, it should feel kind of natural.

You can use the pain points they identified earlier in the call, the ones you wrote down, to help craft your response. This does require thinking on the spot but you should know your own services inside out, so it shouldn’t be difficult. Repeat their words back to them and match their pains with your solutions.

Even if they can’t commit to coaching, you can find a product that works for them. For example, you can point them to a virtual workshop or online course that may answer some of their queries. You should be able to outline your product value really well in a way that suits their needs.

They may want to discuss it on another call. If this is the case, you can go through your regular pitch the next time, but you’ll already know them well enough to make the conversation flow more freely.

The best thing about the free coaching call is that it allows you to find people that you can genuinely help to succeed, and you can really tailor your sales call to suit them. And they’ll get to know you in the process.

Post-Sales Call Practices

There are a few things you should do following the sales process.

1. Take notes

Immediately after the call is the time to have a quick check-in with yourself. How do you think it went? What questions were kind of a curveball for you? What do you think you could do differently? Did you hit all the key points? Every sales call can help you to improve, even if they go badly.

Taking just five minutes to do this will provide you with invaluable information for better sales calls in the future. I’ve done this for years, and I give my sales team a debrief template to complete after every call.

2. Start the onboarding process

If the answer is a ‘yes’, you can get the person onboarded and start the ball rolling.

Of course, what this looks like will depend on the product or services you’re providing. But getting the client or customer signed up as quickly as possible is important and will make them feel as though you’re treating them as a priority.

3. Send a thank you email

You can draft an email thanking them for their time. This is polite and will give them an easy way to contact you.

You can include onboarding information, if appropriate.

4. Arrange a follow-up call

If you didn’t get a ‘yes’, you can do a follow-up call to get an answer. Arrange this time and date before you hang up. Take some time to prepare for this. You may have gotten a feeling about their hesitations – you can use this time to craft a good response and hopefully get a positive purchase decision.

Once you’ve completed the call, I suggest that you follow up a couple of days later. Send them an email to thank them for their time and confirm the good fit.

Bonus Tips for Successful Sales Calls

I’ve completed thousands of sales calls over the years, and I’ve picked up a few little tricks along the way. Here are some strategies you might want to try yourself:

  • Get up and move around. Sometimes your nervous energy needs to ‘go’ somewhere, so don’t be afraid to get out of your chair and walk around while you’re having the conversation.
  • Make sure to take notes. Take notes about their concerns, their queries, or little details about them and their business that you might need to refer to later, especially in follow-up calls.
  • Listen to them. Active listening is a learned skill, and it takes a lot of effort when you’re already feeling nervous. Ask questions! Have a genuine curiosity about your potential new client and the situation they’re in. You’ll also be able to tell if you’re on the same page or not.
  • Write a script, if it helps. You can write out the whole script for the call if it makes you feel more prepared. It’s good to at least have a proven sales script framework, it can really help you to focus and to feel less nervous.
  • But don’t be afraid to abandon the script if you need to. Ultimately, everyone is different. Some clients respond really well to scripted pitches, while others prefer a more personal, conversational tone. I’ve found I can adapt more easily now with a lot of practice, but I always have my enrollment call script nearby in case I need to fall back on it.

How to Make a Sales Call – Key Takeaways

Remember that planning is key, so take the time beforehand to feel more prepared.

The key to a successful sales call is to focus on value. How can you add value to your clients? What’s in it for them? If you can really focus on this, they’ll be more interested in saying ‘yes’.

Believe it or not, when I first started out in sales and had to make my first call, I was a little nervous. Most people are. But after many successful (and not-so-successful calls), it’s become much easier.

You’ll learn a lot about yourself and your communication style through the sales process. So don’t worry if it doesn’t feel natural to start with, and ensure you have a good sales call script if you want to keep things on track.

If you’re still looking for support, we have resources to help at EntrepreneursHQ, including more guidance on how to make a sales call, present your services, and even useful scripts to save you some time.