5 Strikes That Will Kill Your Sales Call

This morning, I received one of the worst sales calls I’ve ever heard. I had originally contacted a person through a website to find some information on online advertising. (Strike 1 – There was no media kit on the website)

When I picked up the phone, the person that answered started by saying that their manager (the person I had e-mailed from the website) was too busy to get back to me so he was following up. (Strike 2 – Never tell anybody that somebody is too busy to get back to you) I asked him a few simple questions about advertising on the website which he could barely answer. On top of that, he over exaggerated on how effective his website advertising offerings were.  (Strike 3 – Make sure you know your facts before you call a prospect).

Finally, I asked him if he would please send me an e-mail with the details of our discussion. He told me that he had already told me everything over the phone. (Strike 4 – Never hesitate to send written confirmation of details to a prospect)

When I received the e-mail from him later on, it was missing information that I had requested and clearly looked like a cookie cutter sales letter with zero customization. (Strike 5 – Never send generic content to a prospect who has requested specific information)

At the end of the e-mail, he asked for the sale without properly qualifying me as a good prospect and without presenting a good solution that would meet the needs I discussed.

If he read my blog, I would tell him his 5 takeaways should be:

1) Add a media kit to your website

2) Treat your prospect like his time is also important

3) Do you homework! This is essential. If you don’t know the facts about your product, how can you possibly sell anybody a decent solution?

4) Always offer to send written confirmation of details to your prospect and then make sure to follow up.

5) Customize your content to your prospect’s questions. This is essential! If a prospect has asked you about specific features or product information, then they clearly have an interest. Make sure to address this in your follow up e-mail!

A good sales call is not difficult to do but very easy to screw up. The keys ideas to think about here are listening, needs analysis and polish.


  1. Good article. I recall one time looking for an SEO company, it was hilarious. The sales rep was late on calling me at a specific time, he was quite aggressive and clearly overestimating his business capabilities. As part of his sales pitch, he mentioned not to rely on those Indian companies, while his own accent couldn’t be more Indian. What dropped the water out of the class was that when asked about his companies positioning with respect to a competitor, he failed not only to recognize his competition but also he laughed at the other mentioned company as if his was clearly superior.

  2. Funny you posted this today because I was going to call you with a sales call question! I’ll give you a shout tomorrow! Thanks for the tips!

  3. Great post! I also hate when I call someone about doing business, and they fail to either return my within a timely manner. I just feel like that is unprofessional and a sure way to loose customers

  4. Nice and revealing… Publishers of my book have refused to call me back or reply my mails on why there’s delay in my book publication. After series of email and calls. I needed a clear reason why they are 6months behind as agreed, yet they keep mute… So bad. I planned of doing another book with them but right now I cant dare do it again with them. Little things strain a relationship or make a potential client to step back.. Another Strike: one customer at a time. http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  5. Reblogged this on Casey Braun and commented:
    This is good advice for anyone going into sales or for someone who will be managing sales or any kind of business department. This is also good advice for anyone who may be going into customer relations. You must always treat each customer or prospect as an individual and let them know their time and business means the world to you. Good customer service or client service keeps people coming back for more.

    1. Thanks for reblogging! When I think customer service, I often think of the terrible service that Telecom companies give from their call centres.

  6. Simple rules that you would think would be “common sense!” I couldn’t have said it better!
    It’s amazing at the amount of sales people that just read from a script, and when you get them off their script, they don’t know anything about the company or the product. Companies need to speed the time and money to properly train their employees – Starting with proper knowledge about the company and the products.

  7. Reblogged this on Simon Hamer and commented:
    5 Strikes That Will Kill Your Sales Call
    Posted on November 26, 2012 by mattchong
    This morning, I received one of the worst sales calls I’ve ever heard. I had originally contacted a person through a website to find some information on online advertising. (Strike 1 – There was no media kit on the website)

  8. Very well put – outbound sales call 101, I’d say.
    I started my career with outbound telesales – unless absolutely impossible, I like to to take these sales calls. One of the other pertinent telesales mistakes, I believe, is talking too much about one’s wares rather than understanding the requirement. But then that’s Sales 101 too.

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