In today’s sales environment, you have to be comfortable using all methods of sales communication. And we know that selling over the phone can be challenging as leads may not want to listen to lengthy sales pitches. So, how can you make your voice heard, generate interest, and close more sales over the phone?
Depending on which step of the sales process you’re in, your objectives might be:
- Making the first contact with the lead
- Qualifying the lead
- Talking to prospects
- Offering your solution
- Handling objections
To ensure that you are getting the most out of your phone sales calls, we have developed a few tips to help you.
Tip #1 – Ask Probing Questions
When qualifying your lead, focus on questions that get the prospect to reveal their pain points to determine if you are a good fit for them and what solutions you will have to solve their problem. These questions could be something like, “what is the biggest challenge you are facing today?” or “in the past, how have you handled situations like this?” Repeat what you were told to clarify your understanding of their needs.
Tip #2 – Give Your Prospect Time to Answer
When asking questions, it is essential to give your customer or potential customer enough time to respond, and this is especially important over the phone. Because you can’t see your customer, you can’t tell if they paused to think if they are temporarily distracted. If you start talking, there’s a chance you might be cutting off their next thought. If you are not sure, it’s safe to ask, “did you have anything else to add to that?” or, “are you ready for me to move on?” Having pauses in the conversation is okay; it may feel awkward to you, but it will not feel that way on the other end.
Tip #3 – Be Prepared
When you offer a solution over the phone, be prepared to send information about your service to the prospect. You need to have pricing options and any other details readily available for the prospect. Then, be prepared to face objections. Failing to recognize and overcome objections can lead you down the wrong path. Objections can be anything from:
- What do your rates look like?
- I don’t have time to speak with you right now!
The solution is to prepare a list of common objections and talking points to answer those objections. Take notes so you can remember the details of your prospect’s concerns and interests. After you have gotten a prospect’s objections, you’re ready to close. The most important part of closing over the phone is having the right documents and information for the customer to finalize the sale. The last thing you want is to think you’ve completed the sale, only to find out the customer never signed off on the dotted line or that you never got their payment information.
Tip #4 – Plan Out Your Cold Calls
Plan a time to make cold calls in advance, and be sure that you are calling at the appropriate times of the day. Most offices are receptive to cold calls between 7-9 AM and 4-6 PM. If a prospect shows interest in you and see an unmet need that your service can address, simply ask to get on their calendar to talk about the next steps. In fact, try to make a habit to make one cold call before 9 AM each day. It’s a great routine to get into.
Consider the following guidelines when making your outbound calls.
- Be polite
- Be friendly
- Be respectful
You might make contact with countless people, so be patient. Give the prospect time to speak and let your calls be a two-way dialogue. Remember, the more this conversation can sound organic, the better!
Tip #5 – Follow Up!
When you hang up the phone, the call is over, but your job continues. Now you need to sit down and review the notes you took while you were on the call. It’s best to do this right after you end the conversation while still focusing on what just happened. Make sure to enter their information into your CRM and determine how you’re going to follow up. Then, mark the next steps in our calendar and set a reminder.
Last but certainly not least, make sure you do things during the day that will help you stay energized and motivated. We know that making a ton of calls in a day can drain one’s energy and demeanor, so take time out and do something that will help you clear your head, like go for a walk. You will be amazed at how this will get you back into the groove of things.
This year more than most people are working remotely. P1 Learning’s online library has videos that can help you navigate these challenges, with videos on making cold calls “Distance Selling: Phone Selling” to how to manage your remote team “Working Virtually: Working Virtually with Your Boss“. Please reach out to us with your current need, and we will share the training videos that can help!
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