How to Plan & Make a Successful Sales Call

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: How to Create & Deliver a Sales Presentation

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What Is a Sales Call?
  • 0:50 Planning a Sales Call
  • 1:52 Making the Sales Call
  • 2:45 Example
  • 4:23 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Read this lesson to learn what questions you need to ask on your sales call along with what questions and concerns to anticipate. You'll also see an example showing you just how you can make a successful sales call.

What Is a Sales Call?

Imagine that you are the sales rep for a pet food company. This requires you to make sales calls, in-person visits, or phone calls to prospective clients, with the ultimate goal being to secure a new contract or sale. It's your job to actually speak to and/or meet with the owners of some major pet supply stores to whom your company may already supply some of their products or where they may be looking to get their first contract. Either way, you want these sales calls to be successful. You want to be able to tell your boss that you were able to secure another contract to supply your company's products to another pet store. So, how can you go about planning your sales call so that the end result is successful? Well, let's take a look at the initial planning stage, which is where it all begins.

Planning a Sales Call

Planning a sales call is about figuring out what key questions to ask and what issues and concerns to anticipate so you can answer them well. It's also about deciding what kind of outcome you want.

To be well prepared for your sales call you'll need to bring with you all the supporting materials, which include marketing materials such as brochures along with your value-added points. Then, decide on the goal of your call, what you'll need to find out during your sales call, and the next step after the sales call. This next step could be another visit to finalize the contract or setting up a new account for the new client.

Now think about the information that you need and the questions that you'll ask. For example, you'll want to determine the needs of your client, how much time you have to discuss matters with the decision maker, what issues your potential client currently has, and what potential objections your potential client may have. Also, research the company as well as the key decision makers. Know how the company is doing and what the key decision makers look for when deciding on what kinds of products they take in.

Making the Sales Call

Once you feel pretty confident about what you need to do, say, and expect, then you're ready to go and make that sales call. Remember, your sales call may be over the phone or in person. In both instances, you need to be prepared. If it's over the phone, listen closely to the tone of your potential client and plan to ward off any uncertainties before they come up. If it's in person, pay close attention to body language so you know that you are making your potential client comfortable and answering all his or her concerns.

After you've made your presentation, asked all your necessary questions, and addressed your potential client's concerns, it is then time for you to go for the close. You may want to reiterate your value-added points and then confirm that this is indeed something that will benefit both you and your potential client. Finally, ask for the sale or contract. If you're successful, you'll have a new client.


Continuing with you and your pet food company, let's take a look at a sample sales call, including the pre-call preparation.

You're about to go visit the largest pet supply store in the neighboring town for a sales call. Your boss wants to have the company's pet food products sold in this store and it's your job to close the deal and get the new client.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account