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Previously published on LinkedIn

By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker

In this world of emails and social media, we sometimes forget how valuable it is to sit down with someone in person. Social media and email campaigns can serve to keep you and your business top of mind for a customer but cannot replace the value of a personal sales call.

In a nutshell, here are the 7 steps required for executing a personal sales call:

Step #1:


  1. Introduce yourself, background, role, and the purpose of the meeting
  2. Inquire about your customer, their background, and their role
  3. Establish the goals and time budgeted for the meeting
  4. Engage by finding common ground on both a personal and business level

Step #2:

Assess Business Needs

  1. Ask probing questions to learn about pain points
  2. Generate a list of needs and concerns
  3. Question to gain a greater understanding of specific needs
  4. Begin to link pain points to your value proposition

Step #3:

Develop Conceptual Solution

  1. Sketch out the framework of your solution
  2. Connect macro-solution components to pain points
  3. Confirm interest and commitment to proceed
  4. Qualify approval process, budget, and time frame

Step #4:

Sell Features, Advantages, and Benefits

  1. Connect product features and benefits to specific needs
  2. Flesh out major features, advantages, and benefits
  3. Explain how product resolves pain
  4. Summarize unique benefits of proposed solution

 Step #5:

Quantify Value Proposition

  1. Develop cost/benefit summary
  2. Quantify resource requirements and timeframes
  3. Present case studies to demonstrate value proposition
  4. Re-qualify approval process, budget, and time frame

Step #6:

Summarize Economic Model Including Costs, Benefits, and Time Frames


Step #7:

Handle Objections and Close

  1. Agree on goals and next process steps
  2. Identify additional decision makers
  3. Secure commitment for additional information
  4. Close the commitment to get the order

It’s a common misconception that all the salesperson needs to do is place a phone call to line up a meeting and ask for the order. Nothing about selling could be further from the truth. In reality, selling is a process made up of a series of customer encounters that includes successive decisions to buy in.

Securing an order comes as a result of a relationship earned over time and built on trust. Is there a better way to build trust than through a progression of well-executed personal sales calls?

Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, with Wyn Lydecker

They are currently offering complimentary eCopy of The Startup Roadmap: 21 Steps to Profitability here.

Copyright © 2015 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.