An early 20th century candlestick phone being ...

If you use the phone to make sales... you better know what its costing you!

Quick!  Do you know the TRUE cost of a phone call?

If you are like me, you may have answered smartly, “almost zero — unlimited phone calls are free from most phone companies”.  Well, yes, that’s technically correct, but there’s more to it than that.

Alright, let me be more specific.  What’s the total cost of a phone call to your company? Would you believe almost $24.00 per call?  I’m not suggesting that every time you speak to someone it costs $24… Its much worse than that.   I’m saying, “Every time your sales person TOUCHES the phone it costs you $24.”  How can that be?

Within our sales organization, we have about a dozen people making sales calls day in and day out.  These are professionals.  They know their industry and their customers.  They can talk the talk.  In short, they are GREAT sales people, and we wouldn’t hire any other kind.  But even though phone calls are free, great sales people are not free.

If each great sales person in your organization has a phone line, a computer, a desk, a salary, some insurance, and maybe even a manager (or two!), the real cost of that employee can be well over $12,000 per month.  (See this great post on the average pay for a sales person in the USA.)

Now, if that same sales person takes a few minutes to prepare for each phone call, researches and rehearses a clear value proposition for the client, and correctly documents his actions in the CRM system, he will make about 25 calls a day.  Let me do the math for you…. that’s about 500 calls a month, or $24.00 each time he touches the phone.

Knowing this, are phone calls really the best way to spend $24?  Don’t forget, about 90% of phone calls are not even answered! That makes the cost of one conversation almost $250.00!

(1) Your sales people should be well prepared and well-armed to justify a $250 conversation. They should know what to say, have specific evidence and documents to back it up, and be ready to ask the right questions to move the sale along.

(2) If you are NOT ready to support your sales people, spend your money on something more effective. Take the first month’s $12,000 and build an amazing website.  Hire an experienced agency to re-write your brochures.  Take a video of your facility.  Build a trade-show booth.  Do whatever you can to PREPARE to have an expensive sales person representing you.

Everybody wants a sale.  But in the rush to hire a sales person, I see too many companies ill-prepared to start selling.  Take a deep breath.  Evaluate your position in the market.  Look hard at your value proposition.  Create the documentation you need to support your position.  Build a database of prospects.  In short, lay the foundation for success.

…And then, go out and start making $24 phone calls!  When you do, you will be “ready to succeed” and those phone calls will be the best investment you’ve ever made.

Dedicated to your profits!

PS: How much are YOU spending on phone calls?  Leave me a comment and let me know!