The Perfect Duration of a Sales Call

Optimize the length of your sales calls for more success

posted by Philip in February

Sales calls are an effective way of reaching out to prospective customers. But how long should a normal sales call be? And at which circumstances should the call be longer or shorter? Of course, there is no unique number of minutes about how long a sales call should take. However, benchmarking to the suggestions of this article will help you to find out if your sales call duration should be optimized.

Less than 2 minutes, if you are wrong

2 minutes are very short, too short to pitch your product and answer questions. Even if it is a follow-up call and the prospective client already knows your product, you need more time to be convincing. Therefore, the only case where a sales call should take less than 2 minutes is a situation where you are “wrong”. Being wrong means that you are either talking to the wrong person or calling at the wrong time. Calling at the wrong time means that you reach the person in a very stressful situation or that the person is in a bad mood. In both cases, it is unlikely that you will be able to sell your product and you should rather try to call again at another time. Calling the wrong person describes situations when you either talk to a person who has no need for your product, or if you talk to a person who has no decision-making power. In all cases, it makes sense to conquer the deal through another contact person at the company. In these situations, you should not try too hard to convince the wrong person. Save your energy as well as your time and focus on the right person, at the right time.

Between 2 and 5 minutes, if you are right

Let’s assume that you finally made it to the decision maker who seems to be the right contact person and has some time. Perfect, this is your chance to pitch your business! Make clear which advantages you offer, highlight the differentiation to other solutions and show that you are have the best solution for your client’s problem. The pitch itself should be very precise. It should not take longer than one and a half minute to present your product. After that, it is time to make it more concrete and to dive into your listener’s use case. Take your time to answer all questions, share additional material with the person and get a follow-up before the 5 minutes come to an end. In a normal case, it should not take much longer than 5 five minutes per call to talk about your product. Only if the customer seems to be very interested and has further questions, it is worth to go ahead after five minutes. Otherwise, you should try to thank the customer for the time and follow-up after he had some time to dive into your product himself.

Between 5 to 10 minutes, if you are very right

If you spend more than 5 minutes with a prospective client on the phone, there should always be a reason for that. If there is a bad reason, e.g. he still does not understand what you are doing, you should come to an end. If there is a good reason, let’s assume that your customer is so interested and has ten more questions, you should be happy and take the extra time. Approach the prospective customer in a friendly way and keep on explaining all the advantages. Add some more examples of happy customers and their success stories. Spending more time with a prospective client can be motivating for yourself and beneficial for your company. It takes a lot of time to get to the right people, so don’t hurry if you finally made it to them. But be careful, if your call takes longer than ten minutes, you should soon come to a friendly end. There are many other right people waiting for you.

Longer than 10 minutes, if you talk to a friend

As already mentioned, your sales calls should not take longer than ten minutes. There are really few first sales calls worth spending more than ten minutes with them. If you talk to an existing customer or if you want to follow-up with a key client, it is maybe differently. But normally, ten minutes should be sufficient for promoting your product. There are some situations where you call will take longer than ten minutes, for example if you talk to an old friend who could become a customer. In these situations, you can make an exception from your strategy. But usually, you should follow the plan and try to be precise with your timing. Many people are now waiting for your call. Choose the right one, and choose the right duration!

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autor: Philip Beamium icon