Building an online business can be tough. I know how exciting it is to schedule those first sales calls. But now that you have them how do you sell your web design services to them? Check out these 9 tips to help you prepare for a web design sales call.
It’s no secret that the success of a service-based business relies on you wearing a sales hat and taking on the role of a saleswoman. Unless you’ve started your online business after being on a corporate sales team, odds are you aren’t completely comfortable pitching your services and selling yourself as a solution to someone else’s problems.
Selling web design gets easier with practice
Truth is, sales calls get easier the more you do them. Which obviously means you will have to suffer through some pretty shitty and embarrassing sales calls in the early stages of your business. Learn to identify the reasons you’re bombing sales calls and just know, it happens to the best of us. The more you practice, the better you’ll understand what to say (and what not to say), how much to talk (and how much to listen), and how to tell if a client is dying to work with you (or is planning on ghosting you post-call).
But just because I emphasize that sales calls get easier the more you do them, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare yourself for sales calls in advance and make them way less awkward and way more professional even in the beginning stages of your business.
To help make your first sales calls less scary, here are 9 steps you should always go through to prepare for a sales call.
Define a Goal
As a business owner, every call you hop onto with a lead needs to have a defined goal. A sales call without a defined goal is just a chat between two entrepreneurs. It may sound strange, but the purpose of a sales call when it comes to web design isn’t necessarily to have a contract signed and an invoice paid at the end of the call.
Many factors have to be taken into consideration when determining a goal for a sales call. Your goal could be to have a contract signed and invoice paid. It could also be to have all the information you need to send the lead a proposal for a custom package.
Don’t get stuck on the fact that a sales call absolutely, 100%, all the time has to end in an actual transfer of money.
Determine the goal of your sales call and don’t alter it – the rest of the sales call preparation is based on the goal you are setting.
Do Client Research
Never hop onto a call without some understanding of the company you’ll be talking to. Here’s what you should know before a sales call takes place:
- The name(s) of who you’ll be talking to
- The business name
- The industry the business is in
- The types of products or services they sell
- If they already have a website
- How much money they make each month
- If they’re ready to invest financially in themselves and their business
Some of these questions you’ll get answered via your pre-questionnaire. Others you’ll have to research on your own. Just know, the more you know about your client, their business, and their products or services, the better the call will go and the more prepared you will appear.
Structure the Call
People who are able to wing a sales call and actually accomplish the goal they set are typically people who came from the sales industry and have had professional training in the art of sales. Without that professional training under your belt, you want to create a structure for the call in advance.
Think of the structure as the outline of a team meeting. Break things into buckets and set time limits on how long you’ll spend discussing each bucket. You want to make sure you’re able to cover everything you need to in the time you’ve allotted. It really sucks when you have 2 minutes left, the lead has another meeting to get to, and you haven’t even been able to pitch your actual services yet.
Structure the call and try to stick to that structure.
Write / Review Your Sales Script
Creating an actual sales script makes it super easy to stick to the structure you’ve created. A sales script is awesome for your first few sales calls while you work through your nerves and get a better understanding of what questions will elicit a long response from a lead.
Overtime, you’ll stray slightly from the sales script or get rid of it completely. You’ll realize that you’re having more of a natural conversation with leads that flows into a sale without having to force it or remind yourself of what you need to say and ask.
There’s nothing wrong with a sales script, though! Use one for as long as you need – forever even, if you like!
Know Your Packages and Prices
This probably seems obvious but make sure you know your packages and prices off the top of your head. Write them on a sticky note or have them up on your computer so that when the inevitable question, “how much do your services cost?” comes up, you’re able to professionally and quickly provide an answer.
Looking unprepared and having to think about what services you offer and how much you charge, will cause the lead to see you as less of an expert and more as a beginner who is still finding their way.
Have your package and pricing information easily accessible so you don’t fall into that unfortunate trap.
Create a Call-to-Action
In order to reach the goal you have set, you need to have a call-to-action. Toward the end of the sales call, what are you going to say to get a lead to commit to that next step? If your goal is to have an invoice sent and paid by the end of the call, what are you going to say to the lead to get them to commit to your services? If your goal is to have all the information you need to send a proposal for a custom package, what do you have to say to a lead to get them interested in seeing that custom package?
You don’t want to end a call with more questions than answers. Having a clear call-to-action will help wrap the sales call up without any lingering questions or confusion.
Know Answers to Potential Objections
Not every lead you have a sales call with will immediately commit to working with you. There are many reasons for this and part of your job is to anticipate those objections in advance so you are prepared for when they come up.
What possible objections may your leads have when it comes to signing up for your web design services? Price and timing are two objections that I’ve faced and that many other web designers face as well. Web designers who are able to overcome those objections and convert leads into paying clients are business owners who come to sales calls prepared with rebuttals to the objections.
Brainstorm potential objections and type out responses that you can use when those objections come up.
Create a Follow-Up Plan
Whether the lead decides to sign on with you, asks for more time to think about it, or is waiting to receive a proposal from you, make sure you have a follow-up plan. A sales call is almost never the end of a discussion between you and a lead.
If a lead turns into a client, how do you follow-up with them in the weeks leading up to their project start date? If a lead wants more time to think about it, how do you communicate with them and what do you send them to keep them interested in your services? And if they’re waiting for a proposal from you, when will that proposal be sent?
Have a solid follow-up plan in place so you know and are able to communicate next steps with the lead post-sales call.
Get in the Right Frame of Mind
Arguably the most important part of preparing for a sales call is to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Going into a sales call with the mindset that it’s going to be terrible is guaranteeing that it will be terrible. Going into a sales call with the mindset that the lead won’t sign up for your services is guaranteeing that you will self-sabotage the call to ensure they don’t convert into a paying client. If this happens, remember that with failure comes opportunity. Learn from your mistakes and stop self sabotage in it’s tracks.
But if this happens with negative thoughts, then surely it can happen with positive thoughts, too… right?
Yes! Mastering your mindset will help you handle every situation you encounter. When you prepare for a sales call make sure you spend a good amount of time visualizing success. Visualize yourself running a successful sales call. The lead is engaged and interested in what you have to say. When you tell the lead how much your services cost, they don’t even blink an eye. Instead, they’re asking you to send through an invoice for a deposit so they can secure their start date.
Visualizing this success right before the sales call takes place will help get you in the right frame of mind. You won’t hop on the sales call full of nerves and doubt but instead full of confidence and guarantee.
Even in the beginning stages of your business, your web design sales calls can go well. It’s all about how you prepare and the mindset you have going into the calls. Follow these nine simple steps and you’ll be on your way to overcoming sales call fear in no time!