How To Set The Agenda For A Virtual Sales Call

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It’s been about eight weeks since we’ve all been sheltering-in-place and over that time I think I’ve been on (let’s see… crunching numbers… carry the 3…) ONE BILLION PHONE AND VIDEO CALLS.

We’ve all been getting very familiar with our phones and laptop cameras.

But even with all this practice we STILL find ourselves on some calls that never seem to end because they never truly get started!

I never want to be on another conference call that doesn’t have a set agenda and purpose!

And… NEITHER DOES YOUR CUSTOMER!

So this week we’re going to talk about how you can set the agenda for every sales call.

Your customer will THANK YOU for it.

Here’s a recap of everything in this episode of 5 Minute Sales Training:

When you’re going on a trip, you need a map.

But before you consult a map to check the route, you need to know the destination.

A philosopher once said,

“It’s just as difficult to get to a place when you don’t know where you’re going, as it is to come from a place that you’ve never been.”

That’s the purpose behind a sales call agenda.

You’re laying out a roadmap that shows both the path and more importantly, the destination.

Let’s suppose you’re selling solar panels and you’ve got a Zoom call set up with your next prospect.

After some trust-building time, but before discovery time, you should set the agenda for the call.

It might sound something like this:

“Let me tell you how I would like to spend our time on this call so that you can get the most out of it.

I’ll start by asking some questions about you, about how you live, and about what you need both now and in the future.

And then I’ll take that information and make some suggestions that will be tailored to your needs.

If all that makes sense to you, we can schedule an appointment to look at your home and your property, run some usage calculations, and create a proposal.

Can I start by asking you a few questions?”

You just provided a roadmap for the sales call.

Both you and your customer benefit from creating a roadmap.

The customer gains a clear understanding of how the process works and next steps.

You gain confidence that you and your customer are on the same page.

You walk towards the same goal.

I call this mutual purpose. And it’s magical.

Nothing can be best for us. Unless it’s best for you.

Careful here, because some people would recommend a closing question at this point.

As in, “And if I can show you a solution that works for you, would you be ready to purchase today?”

I’m not a big fan of closing on hypotheticals.

It’s a lot of pressure that gets put on a customer early on in the process.

But I am a big fan of closing assumptions.

Explain the roadmap and end with, “And if all that’s to your liking, we can move forward with the purchase today. Let’s get started by understanding what you are looking for.”

Now, when we set that agenda with our customer, we’re really doing it in two different parts.

It begins with an explanation of where we are going, and it ends with an instruction on the very next step or steps.

So again, let me repeat what I opened up with if I were selling solar panels,

“Let me tell you how I’d like to spend our time on this call so that you can get the most out of it.

I’ll start by asking some questions about you, about how you live, and about what you need, both now and in the future.

I’ll take that information and then make some suggestions that will be tailored to your needs.

If all that makes sense to you, we can schedule an appointment to look at your home and property, run some usage calculations, and create a proposal.

So can we get started by asking you just a few questions?”

Here’s the break of that sequence down.

  1. Announce the agenda, and I let them know that this is for them.
  2. Explain next steps, simple and top level.
  3. Announce the call to action, “Not asking you to do anything just yet, just making it clear where we are going.”

That’s the way it works.

Announce the agenda, lay out the steps, announce the end goal or next steps, and move back to that first step.

Our goal here is to create mutual purpose.

We want to be on the same page with our customer.

Let’s face it.

You wouldn’t want to walk into a doctor’s office and have the doctor ask you,

“So how would you like me to treat you today?”

No, I would much rather the doctor say,

“This is what we’re going to do in this procedure.”

Because my doctor is the professional.

You are the professional, so set the agenda for your customer.

All right, now it’s time to go to work.

What can you do to introduce the agenda early in the process?

Until next time, learn more, to earn more.


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.