With some information about the prospect in hand, the salesperson must then move to make initial contact. In a few cases, a salesperson may be fortunate to have the prospect contact her/him but in most cases salespeople will need to initiate contact. In many ways, arranging for contact is as much as selling effort as selling a product.
There are two main approaches to arranging contact:
- Cold Calling for a Presentation – A challenging way to contact a prospect is to attempt to conduct a sales meeting through a straight cold call. In this approach, the intention is to not only contact the prospect but to also give a sales presentation during this first contact period. This approach can be difficult since the prospect may be irritated by having an unannounced salesperson interrupt and take time out of her/his busy work schedule to sit for a sales meeting.
- Cold Calling for an Appointment – A better approach for most salespeople is to contact a prospect to set up an appointment in advance of the sales meeting. The main advantages of making appointments is that it gives the salesperson additional time to prepare for the meeting and also, in the course of discussing an appointment, the salesperson may have the opportunity to gain more information from the prospect. Of course, this way also has the added advantage of having the prospect agree to the sit for the meeting, which may make them more receptive to the product than if the salesperson had followed the Cold Calling for Presentation approach.