Articles on Selling by Robert Seviour



Sales Training Courses

Next Dates

Sales Training Manuals

Articles on Selling

Delegate Feedback

About Robert Seviour

Keynote Speeches

One-On-One Sales Coaching

Custom Sales Training Manuals



Fifty dollars an hour making phone calls

What is a new client worth to you? Don't base this just on the first sale, include an appropriate figure for add-on sales.

In many businesses the value will be in the thousands, maybe ten times that or more. Obviously it would be nice to have lots of such customers, so let's think about how to get them.

Working this idea from the ground up, we aren't going to make sales if we don't talk to prospects, so let's first consider how to accomplish that.

You can:

  • advertise and wait for prospects to respond.

  • exhibit at a trade show.

  • send sales letters or emails and wait.

  • try and reach prospects by phone.

  • walk up to their door and knock.

All of these methods will produce some results if you do enough of them. But the costs vary widely. A prospect obtained by having a stand at an exhibition might cost your company anything from $100 to $1,000. (You arrive at that figure by taking the total costs of having a stand, hotel and travel costs, brochures, entertainment etc and then dividing that by the number of genuine leads you have obtained.)

An amount in the hundreds or even thousands may be ok if you are selling a highly profitable, big ticket item and you manage to close a good proportion of your leads. But when you do a lead cost analysis, you may get a shock. I've known companies pay $3,000 per lead and not close any.

Going to the other extreme, to send an email is virtually free. It would be the most cost / effective method if it produced results. It might and you can test it easily.

The obvious disadvantage of emails is that they have very little impact these days. By contrast, visiting in person to speak to a prospect gives you the best chance to be convincing, but it's very expensive to do so, particularly if significant travelling is required.

In the middle of this range of prospecting methods is making telephone sales calls. It takes some effort, but it's effective and very inexpensive. What to say

Let's consider the sort of results you can achieve this way: in an hour you can make perhaps 8 call attempts which may lead to 2 or 3 longer conversations with the appropriate person.

Depending on the nature of your business, your objective when phoning may be to set an appointment to visit the prospect. If so, from each hour's telephone work, you may well be able to gain one appointment.

Then, taking a typical value, perhaps you will close one order for every three presentations. Now work out the value per hour that you get by using this method. Take your profit or commission for the sale and divide that figure by the number of hour's work it has taken to earn it.

My headline figure of $50 per hour is quite realistic - you may be able to do even better in some businesses. Time spent making contact with fresh prospects pays very well.

If you are finding business sluggish, then you have the time to get on the phone and call some new potential customers.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at my book.

How to Motivate Sales People manual



More articles on better selling




Questions/comments - drop me a line at



Sales Engineer Training Courses | Sales Training Manuals | Articles on Selling | Delegate Feedback | About Robert Seviour | Client List

One-On-One Sales Coaching | Custom Sales Training Manuals Contact | Privacy Policy | Site Map

shopify analytics ecommerce