Just The Tip: Minimize Your Sales Call Prep Time By Leaning On Your Questionnaire

pimp it out:

My time is precious.

I’d like to think that when I’m forced to do something inefficient or a grind, it chafes against two of my core values: freedom and joy.
I’ve got a life to live, things I want to eat, people I want to do hang out with it. You get the picture. So, anywhere I can in my life, I find ways in which I can be efficient and effective.
One of the areas that I’ve really had to grapple and make peace with during my time as a business owner is the time I spend prepping for a sales call. Sales are important; they keep the business lights on. But sales aren’t always a guarantee either…so how do you find that balance of preparing for something that’s not a given?
This is where working smarter to be efficient and effective come in—knowing the answers to the right questions you need to succeed before you even hop on the call. I’m not an expert in sales by any means; I’m approaching this situation from an operations perspective.

Your tip of the week:

Lean on your sales/discovery call questions to tell you everything you need so that you minimize the length of time you spend prepping for the call.
(And if you don’t take discovery/sales calls, you could easily adapt this tip and ask yourself where in the buying process are time sucks happening.)

How much time you should dedicate to prepping?

That’s a little tricky, because it varies for everyone. The answer should be enough time to where you feel confident but not take too much time to where prepping for it feels like an absolute drag.
Currently, I spend about ten minutes (if even that) prepping for a sales call because:
  1. I know my stuff REALLY well
  2. I know my ideal client REALLY well
  3. I can trust that the questions I’ve asked in my scheduler (the questions you’ve got to fill out before getting on my calendar) will give me enough of a solid footing to feel in control, guide the conversation, and be confident about whether or not Business Laid Bare can help them.
I love that I don’t have to work my schedule around sales call prep. I feel in control and confident because I’ve designed the process exactly to be what I need…and that’s good information (and making the sales call low-key and super conversational).
Even if I get responses like these, it gives me insight into where they might be in their operations. Are they so busy they barely have time to keep their head above the water? Perhaps they are unsure as to what good operations in their business looks like to be more specific with their answer? 

I get to ask questions like, “So…about your answer…tell me more about how it’s a little of both. What does that look like for you?”

What type of questions should you ask in the questionnaire?

Because I’m not a sales expert, I’m not going to give you specific questions but rather prompts and suggestions that would help you make the best decision for yourself. You know what you need to know. You have my full permission to gag Imposter Syndrome for this exercise if you need.

What information would help you feel like you can take control and guide the conversation?

For me, I need to know why operations are important to their business right now. I also want to know what apps they use to be more specific with my questions or quickly understand if they’re struggling to use it well.

What information would help you know they won't be a nightmare client?

For me, I need to know if they are “tech-phobic” and if they politically will jive with my team and me. #BlackLivesMatter

What information would help you know if you can even help them?

If they’re specifically looking for human resources/people operations help, I know we’re immediately not a good fit.

Ask specific questions.

Your prospective clients are coming to you because they see you as the expert. So, guide them. Open-ended questions are totally acceptable, but they shouldn’t dominate the questionnaire. Questions like, “How can we help?” is too broad and vague and would allow them to answer in a million ways.

So? Why does this all matter? I think our client, Lydia, summed it up so perfectly:

"Within 30-minutes, Veronica helped shorten my services inquiry process prep time from one week to one hour. I was spending unnecessary time doing behind-the-scenes and research tasks, which meant discovery calls couldn’t be booked earlier than 7 days out. Since tightening the inquiry process, the reduction in time has been amazing! My ghost rate has gone down significantly, and I’m able to be just as effective in 1 hour of preparation than what I was spending 1 week of my time on in the past."
Lydia kitts
Turnquist House

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:
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  2. Book a Consult — feel like your offer/service inquiry is too manual or not efficient enough? Let’s chat!
  3. Check out last week’s tip — Where is it sticky?

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