I recently received a call from an old supplier, who was obviously not prepared for the call.

I started wondering, how many salespeople prospect old clients, without taking 5 minutes to prepare and risk losing an existing customer?

The salesperson started the call by asking for the person in my role previously (who hasn’t been with us for almost 8 years).  I’ve worked with this supplier several times since then, and when I called him on it (which is not something I would normally do, but was feeling a little hurt) he said, “Oh no, I should’ve read my notes – I have worked with you before!”  {Side note: My personality style is Amiable-Analyzer, so building a relationship and attention to detail is important to me.}

Five minutes of preparation could have saved this salesperson from embarrassment and from offending a potential buyer.  He had the opportunity to check-in, build rapport and make me feel important enough to be remembered instead of just pulling the name from their company database.  In today’s competitive marketplace, you need to set yourself apart from your competition.  Spending a few minutes to prepare for calls with former clients is great ROTI (Return on Time Invested)!

This simple “pre-call planning” stage when prospecting is critical if you want to avoid a fatal faux pas like this one.

Had this person made me feel like a valued client, rather than a prospecting cold call, I probably would’ve dug deeper to give him my business, rather than saying, “Oh, we will keep you in mind but don’t need anything right now.”

Pre-call planning gets your prospecting calls off to the right start and getting the business – or at least having a purposeful sales conversation!

Want more buyer’s perspectives?  We are excited to be presenting a webinar on behalf of the CPSA – “Cracking the Client’s Code – Buyers Reveal What it Takes to Get a YES!”  We will have a Panel of High-Profile Buyers Sharing their insights to Winning their Business.