How to Pre Call Plan: Lessons from Jeffrey J Fox’s How to Become a Rainmaker

Jeffrey J. Fox a best selling author defines a rainmaker as a salesperson who brings in revenue for his company. In his book, How to Become a Rainmaker, he highlights the 10 pre-call planning checklist rainmakers use before going into a sales meeting. Below are these 10 valuable points and our insights on it.

1. Written sales call objective.

There are many goals to a sales call. As a sales professional you want to close a sale for the monetary rewards. It is natural. As a team player, you want to ring the cash register for your company. As a consultant, you want to deliver solutions to your prospect’s needs. Write your sales objectives down. This dictates the direction of your questions and your closing strategy. Without a pre call plan, don’t dial that number.

2. Needs analysis questions to ask.

A sales call must consist of questions. Let your customers talk because the more they talk, the more they reveal about their company. Everything a customer says is valuable information to closing a sale. Instead of simply soliciting a yes or no, prepare open ended questions in advance. These questions should be based on your pre call homework.

3. Something to show.

A rainmaker always pre call plans. No matter how many years of sales experience they have, they never wing it. Do your pre call homework before every call. Never dial or show up to an appointment empty handed.

4. Anticipated customer concerns and objections.

Make the buying process easy for your customers. This is where pre call research is important. Getting to know your customers and their companies will let you anticipate their questions and objections and prepare strategies on how to handle them. It also gives you time to practice answering these questions so your delivery on the actual call is on point. It has been said that selling is transference of feeling and when a sales professional is confident that his product or service is the best solution to a company’s needs, it makes it easy for the customer to buy.

5. Points of difference vis-a-vis competitors.

When a sales professional bashes their competitors, it reflects negatively on them. However, it is still important that your customers know that your product and company is superior to that of your competitors. How do you achieve this balance? It is done by presenting the points of difference between you and your competitors. It is easier for you to establish a trust based with your customers when you sell using your product and company’s strong points than with your competitor’s shortcomings.

6. Meaningful benefits to customers.

Your product can have multitudes of great features that can benefit your customers. However, the benefits that are meaningful for your customers are those that solve their unique problems and add to what is valuable for them. Each customer is unique in that they may need the same solution but they may also value different things in varying degrees. Some customers value savings more while some place a priority into the longevity of your product. You may even meet customers who spend more time deciding on colors, shapes and sizes more than anything else. Know your customers and know what is meaningful for them. Help them make a buying decision based on these values.

7. Dollarization approach; investment return analysis.

Show your customers where the money is. Whether you are talking to small business owner or a CEO of a large company, they all want one question asked: Where is the money? The dollarization approach is translating all the features and benefits of the product to its dollar value. How much can a customer save by switching to your product? What will the projected return of investment be for advertising with you? Money talks and to your customers, dollarization speaks volumes. Sell money.

8. Strategies to handle objections and eliminate customer concerns.

Your experience as a Sales professional may have allowed you to come across multitudes of objections. If you have been in the field of sales long enough, you may have observed that even if you have given the same rebuttals to the same objections, the results may differ. Your pre call homework is important in preparing strategies to handle objections. Use what you know about your customer and their company to anticipate their objections and clearly plan out how to handle them. Turn objections to objectives. Your objection handling strategy should be geared towards eliminating your customer’s concerns and ease them into the buying process.

9. Closing strategies.

A sales professional knows that the goal of every sales call is to close a sale. Every question that you ask, every dollarized benefit that you let your customers understand should lead to that signature on the dotted line.

10. Expected surprises.

When talking to a decision maker, the best surprises are the ones you have anticipated. Your pre call planning must include expected surprises. They can make or break the sale.

The sales profession is an ongoing learning process. If you want to learn more from How to Become a Rainmaker, check out Jeffrey J. Fox's publications using this link:

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About the Author


Angelica Manlunas

About Angelica Manlunas

Angelica lives off of coffee and pizza. She spends her time online tinkering on social media, watching short films and poetry slams. Her offline time is devoted to trips to the beach or spending lazy days indoors with a book in her hand. Also, she writes at least 1000 words every day. Email Angelica at and follow Angelica @ang_transeo.


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