Sales and intake calls used to make me feel physically ill.
I was deadly nervous about meeting prospects and potential clients, and I felt apologetic about offering my services and flushed when I had to say my price.
Rocking intake calls is probably the most important skill you need to learn as a growing business.
Spoiler: an intake call is NOT a call where businesses hand out free advice.
Therefore, we're going to look at 7 tips you can implement right away to show you're the boss of your intake conversations and ensure you use these calls to turn prospects into new, paying clients.
Tip 1: Take control and be the boss
When people come to you, it means they are currently facing a problem, and they need help – YOUR help.
You can guide them to a solution, but you need to confidently take on that role and make it apparent that you can help them get back on whatever track they need.
Opposite to what most people think, prospects don't enter intake calls thinking that they are going to run the conversation.
On the contrary, they're nervous as hell, and they are waiting for you to take charge and guide the conversation. You're the expert here.
Tip 2: Know who you're talking to
Before you jump on any sales call, you need to know who you're talking to.
My best tip to get to know prospects and prepare for sales calls is to ask people to fill out a short form or questionnaire.
The form can include questions like:
- What's your current problem?
- What have you done in the past to remedy this problem?
- Which obstacles are you facing right now?
When asking these questions in advance of the conversation, you already have an idea about what prospects know and don't know.
Simple preparation like this will give you so much more confidence, which will show in your calls with potential clients. Give it a go!
Tip 3: Work your routine using a script
There's no such thing as winging intake calls. You need to follow a routine.
To set up a routine that works for you, I suggest you start working with a script… Not the typical call center script with automated replies, but a script you can use to guide the conversation.
For instance, when I do intake calls, I always have a list with 5 questions that I ask in the same order. Remember, this is a business call with a potential paying client.
A script will help you stay on track and ensure that you ask the right questions to find out if there's a good fit between the two of you.
Examples of questions you can ask include:
- Tell me about yourself (this will already give you a lot of insights into how people are wired).
- Why do you want to work with me?
- How did you find my service?
Include any questions that will help you determine if there's a good match.
Tip 4: Establish the goal of the talk from the get-go
Before you dive into your baseline questions from your script, you need to communicate the goal of your conversation.
For example, I usually tell people:
“We have this conversation because this is a big decision. Getting coached is very personal, and I want to make sure we're a good fit, for you as well as for me.”
Make sure you're friendly (that should go without saying), and make it clear that collaborating with you entails a mutual relationship.
I highly recommend you make this clear from the get-go because it creates respect and mutual understanding, just like you want it to.
This way, you automatically take back some power and get into the seat of being the boss.
This tip not only applies to sales calls, but you can use it for other conversations, too, like talking to suppliers or partners.
Tip 5: Ask open-ended questions
When you prepare the questionnaire, your script, and any questions you intend to ask during a sales call, make sure you ask open-ended questions.
For example, when my 7-year-old comes home from school, and I ask him, “Did you have fun? Did you play outside?” he typically replies with a yes or no, and the conversation dies out.
In a sales call, you want the potential client to start elaborating, and you can achieve this by asking open-ended questions.
Open-ended questions are questions that potential clients can't answer with a simple yes or no.
These questions require that respondents expand on their answers, and when they do, you need to listen.
Tip 6: Listen more than you talk
Whether you speak with potential clients through your Instagram DM or a Zoom call, always listen more than you talk.
And I know this isn't always easy because you have so much to say about your course or program and why they should work with you.
The trick is: when someone asks you a question, answer the question AND ask a question back.
Doing this you'll automatically listen more than you talk and you'll make potential clients feel like you're already serving them before they have actually hired you.
Countless times, I've had people pitch me things while I was the one craving attention. Remember that your potential clients might feel the same. They want to feel heard and seen.
Tip 7: Pitch your price confidently at the end
At the end of the conversation, the time has come for you to state your offer and price, and suddenly you freeze. I used to be like this, too.
But by practicing and working on your routine, you'll get the hang of it.
These guidelines will help you get there and successfully end your sales calls without things getting awkward.
- Explain how you work.
- State your price confidently.
- Ask which questions they have for you, then be quiet.
While you're doing this, you need to put your insecurities aside and be confident about your offer.
Potential clients are like dogs: they can smell fear, and it's going to come back at you like a boomerang.
Recap: your 7-step intake checklist
Lastly, I want to share one more tip for your intake conversations: know your beginning and end.
Know how you'll open the conversation and how you'll close it, because it has to be very strong, and can ultimately make or break your deal.
- Take control and be the boss
- Know who you're talking to
- Work your routine using a script
- Establish the goal of the talk from the get-go
- Ask open-ended questions
- Listen more than you talk
- Pitch your price confidently at the end
By following these 7 tips we just went through, you're already headed in the right direction. Let's go get some sales!
Good luck! 🍀
PS If you want more tips to selling online, we've compiled a checklist with 10 of our best sales tips and some of the dos and don'ts of sales.
- 10 strategies to boost your sales in no time
- Hands-on sales tips so you can start immediately
- Create a consistent income stream
PS Next week, we'll be hosting our 10k Success Summit! If you are ready to join our exclusive workshops and learn how YOU can lift your life and business, this live online event is the place to be. Not only will you be working on your business together with Amy during the workshop, we'll also highlight how some of our coachees who went from being scared to join the BFE™ at first, to being confident, wealthy, and fully booked with ease. Register now through https://fastforwardamy.com/10ksummit and join us September 14 and 15th! As usual, we'll provide a replay to those who can't make it, but you have to register to get it. 🤗