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Why objectives are key to sales callsiStockPhoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto


Defining objectives

Before every sales call, you need to define your objectives, says consultant Brett Morris. "All sales calls or presentations begin in the mind of the salesperson with a clear, one-sentence statement of purpose," he writes on the Fortune Group blog.

Each sales call is either transactional, in which you expect a sale to take place during that session; or developmental, in which you are working over a period of time to make the sale. For each sale, he advises you set not just one objective with a simple end point, but a series of goals, starting with an overarching goal and then focusing on immediate targets:

Overall goal: What is your ideal end result? Often it is to have the prospect make a long-term commitment to your product or service.

Intermediate goal: What will help you fulfill the overall goal? You might simply want the prospect to try your product or service.

Short-range goal: What will help you fulfill the intermediate goal? This might be to persuade your contact to present to other members of the buying team the case for a trial of your product or service.

Immediate goal: What will help you fulfill your short-range objective? This might be to persuade your contact to get the buying team to meet with you.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online work-life column Balance. E-mail Harvey Schachter