The cost of selling is escalating and time is ever in short supply to make face-to-face sales calls. But stiff competition requires that sales professionals keep notching up their sales goals every quarter and every year. The secret is not something very unfathomable. It lies with the proper use of successful telephone sales techniques. Winning sales professionals use the telephone as a successful tool to achieve their sales goals. Selling on the telephone is a very crucial sales method that no organization or individual can afford to ignore. That’s why we have a sudden increase and expansion of telephone call centers around the world. There are certain techniques that successful sales people resort to when they use the telephone for making sales calls and closing sales. We will study the simple techniques here.
Selling over the telephone may lead to the closing of a sale or leading to an opening for a presentation and possible deal. The same principles that apply for face-to-face selling, is applicable for telephone selling. This means that you will follow the same rules like providing product information, handling objections and closing. You will have to be cordial to the prospect, not interrupt them, and give priority to their needs. In other words your mindset should be on adding value and trying to solve the client’s problem with a cost-effective solution.
You may not close the sales over the phone, but you can probe the prospect with open-ended questions like: who, what, when, where and why. You may have to first make many calls to get to the decision-maker. The decision-maker must have four unique and present factors: need, desire, financial capacity and authority. Then you will have to: present the product, anticipate and handle objections, and close the sale over the telephone to that person. This can be quite difficult, but just like a face-to-face sale and if you do it right you can close a sale or at least get a solid opening for an appointment and presentation.
Use the Advantages
The advantage of selling over the telephone is that neither the customer nor the buyer has the possibility of getting distracted by discouraging body language. The buyer also cannot judge the sales person by way of his/her personal appearance affecting the decision. Also sales over the telephone save a lot of time and energy by way of decreasing travel time and expenses. These advantages should be utilized to make each telephone sales call an opportunity to find out more about the client’s situation and lead to a potential sale.
The First Impressions
First impressions are always important. When making a cold call, responding to a lead, or following up on a business reply card you have to impress the prospect within the first one-two minutes. It is really important given the fact that people are bombarded with email, phone calls and sales solicitations daily and they love to avoid such calls. Actually reaching a prospect on the telephone is not as easy as it used to be. If you manage to get the prospects on line you should hold their attention and help them to or service quickly by listening and mentioning the benefits to help make the clients life easier. That’s possible when you speak in an unhurried voice, don’t sound like just another sales rep that is looking for a quick sale, sound as if you are truly interested in the need of the prospect. When people find someone is talking about a solution to their needs they get interested. Speak in an unhurried voice. A hurried voice will put off the prospects instantly as they wouldn’t understand what you are saying and if they do, they will fathom that you are a desperate sales person. Speak in a cool, calm, and assured voice. Talk about the needs of the prospect. That is more likely to grab their attention.
Do Your Homework
You have to know as much as possible about the prospect. Try to gather relevant information about the prospects company. Go to their web site; check out their financials and the press room for relevant and timely information that will help you to gain credibility in their eyes. Learn thoroughly about their businesses, lifestyles, tastes, and preferences. Prospects will not have the time to educate you on the phone about those things and will be impressed that you have done your homework.
Watch for Your Language and Body Language
You have to be courteous, respectful, and thankful. Even if the prospect is not able to see you, your voice can clearly reflect your personality. So take care of that. Speak in a pleasant and friendly tone. Make certain that your voice sounds good on the telephone. Record your voice and see how your voice sounds. Stand up and speak while making sales calls. If you are sitting while making calls, sit in an erect position so that your voice is coming out properly giving it the required throw. If you slouch and make a sales call on the phone your tone will reflect carelessness. The tone shouldn’t be too soft or too loud. Use a telephone headset that allows for free movement to express yourself with suitable accompanying body language
Don’t make calls to just add numbers to your sales report. Treat each prospect with due importance and call them with sufficient professionalism. Do adequate research on them before making calls. The total number of calls you make is less important than the quality of the calls you make. So, try experimenting with these telephone sales techniques and sales success may just be a phone call away!
About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.
Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching
Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)