Working in a startup means you need to pick up the phone and get some sales. You might be acquiring a customer or simply testing an assumption. Before you pick up, consider these 4 steps and work them into the call.

1. Who are you calling?
Get as much information on the person you are calling. This gives you an opportunity to find a middle ground. This person probably doesn’t want to speak to you, but the more you know about them, the better position you are in. Get their attention and ASK QUESTIONS. Make sure you are speaking to the decision maker. If it’s not them, find out as much about who they are as possible.

2. What do you want to achieve in the call?
Before you pick up the phone, outline what the objective is in making the call. What do you want to get out of speaking with them, what is the purpose of the call. Write it down in front of you and ensure you get the data you need. It’s unlikely they will book or buy in one call, but getting information on their business can improve the likeliness of success in future. A sale happens when a relationship is built, or you have a kick ass Marketing strategy.

3. Where do they fit into your business?
Depending on your business, the person could be a supplier or buyer. You might need to buy and sell them, or perhaps they are an important customer. Asking loads of questions determines where they fit in to what you are all about. Taking their thoughts and problems and transferring them into solutions you are able to provide.

4. When to follow up?
Never end a call without planning the next step. When will you get in touch and what will you do between now and then? Keeping in touch and keeping the lead fresh, makes for a great sale.

Sounds easy, so don’t be afraid of the cold call. Every ‘No’ leads you closer to a ‘Yes’.