Hi there,

How’s it going? I’m doing well. Not as well as Patrick Mahomes , obviously, but pretty well.

Real quick: We just published an article on sales call etiquette that contains some fantastic insights from Nutshell’s Customer Success guru Kristen Gray on how to create positive experiences when speaking to buyers, but my favorite part of the article is the “Things to Avoid” section, because yikes, we’re all guilty of this stuff from time to time.

In fact, here, just read the whole thing:

1. Don’t multi-task
This is a big no-no. People can tell when your attention isn’t with them, and if you’re making a sales call, your attention needs to be devoted to your prospect. Even if you regularly do it and no one notices, you’re missing out on the connection you should be forming with this prospect.

2. Don’t rush for an outcome
You’re going to talk to them again. There’s no need to read your entire script all in one conversation just because you’ve got someone on the phone right now. If you can have a good conversation with them today, they’ll be more receptive to your pitch down the road.
If someone states “I only have x minutes…” just gather info during this call and figure out how to pitch to them at a later date.
3. Don’t write checks you can’t cash
Don’t make promises you can’t keep , or answer any questions you’re not 100% confident about.

Sometimes it’s tempting to say what people want to hear, especially under pressure, but your time spent on the phone with a prospect might end up being useless if your relationship is built on faulty info.

4. Don’t eat while you’re on the phone
Face it, you can’t hide the fact that you’ve got a mouthful of granola bar from someone whose only connection to you is the audio device literally an inch away from your chompers.

This also falls under the category of multi-tasking, so you lose double points .

Cold calling should never be so urgent that you need to talk on the phone while devouring your lunch. If you feel that there’s “no choice” but to call through your lunch break, time out! There may be a number of barriers preventing you from being engaged, having a positive outlook, and giving it your all.

Reassess these issues and remove some of the workplace stress before getting on the phones.

5. Don’t dominate the conversation
Let people be people, and more importantly, be a person yourself. You want your prospect to connect with you, and nobody wants to connect with an aggressive know-it-all.

Have the conversation at their pace, which means no cramming information down their throats. Even if your product is the most phenomenal thing that will ever happen to them, let them discover it naturally through conversation.

6. Don’t call without doing prospect research
Don’t pick up the phone before you learn about the prospect . Are they a good fit? How many people do they manage? What exactly is their function within the company—are they the right person to talk to? Trying to ascertain all these things over a cold call is a great way to get hung up on.

“Hi, who am I talking to? OK cool and what’s your position? Can you transfer me to whoever is in charge of your IT stuff? Oh, that’s also you. Hello, are you still there?”

7. Don’t call without doing company research
How can you help a business succeed if you don’t know what they do or what their needs are? Spend a few minutes on their company website. Search Google News to see if they’ve recently won any awards or put out a press release. Take 60 seconds to go on LinkedIn and view the company’s employees. Match the target prospect’s stated location with the nearest headquarters to make sure you’re calling the right office.

Proving that you’ve done your research on the company during your first conversation will get you a lot farther than calling without a shred of information and asking to speak to “whoever makes IT decisions.” Don’t make the prospect do your job for you.

If you want more advice on what actually works when it comes to sales calls, read the rest of the article here .

And if you’re really bored, please reply to this email and tell me what you would do with $500 million dollars. (The first thing I would do is take my car through the car wash twice .)

Take care,
Ben Goldstein
Editor in Chief, Sell to Win