When having to make non-face-to-face contact with buyers, the telephone can be your new best friend.
As a salesperson you should see the telephone as a powerful selling tool.
If used correctly it can produce great results.
Many of your buyers will have their first experience with your company during a telephone call.
Whenever you are dealing with buyers on the phone, be positive and do all that you can to satisfy them.
Buyers can sense when they are being treated with care and consideration and this will translate into business.
MAKING business telephone calls:
We all fear the unknown. The fear you create for yourself is far worse than the reality of making the call.
Salespeople hate making phone calls because they fear rejection.
Rejection is in direct proportion to how good you are at making phone calls.
If you don’t make phone calls you don’t get better at it, if you don’t get better at it, you have more failures, when you have more failures you are less enthusiastic to make phone calls.
It is important to make a good first impression when making tele-sales calls.
If the buyer gets the impression that you know what you are talking about and are enthusiastic about what you have to offer, then there is a good chance that they will agree to continue the conversation.
Buyers take “One Listen” to you and decide YES or NO.
Don’t start with “How are you today?” It makes you sound like a typical salesperson and no one wants to talk to a salesperson!
Just make your opening statement (10 second introduction) and get to the point.
“The reason for my call is …..” “What I want to discuss with you is …”
Remember: It’s a business telephone call not a “chit-chat”.
Offer to be of service rather than wanting to sell something.
Whether you are making telephone calls to sell, make appointments or follow-up on a quote, make all your calls on purpose and with a plan.
Useful tips for making business telephone calls:
1. Remove all negative thoughts about making phone calls.
If you have any negative thoughts or beliefs about selling over the phone you must get rid of them to be successful with making telephonic sales calls.
If you believe that you are not good at making phone calls and can’t sell over the phone, then you won’t succeed.
2. Know who you are calling.
Whether you are wanting to sell to a person (procurement, HR manager, etc.) or a company, you need to speak to the person who can make the buying decision or at least ask to speak with that person.
You may have to speak to a few people before getting to the decision maker, including gatekeepers. (Receptionist, P.A. Etc.)
Once you have made your introduction always ask; “Who would be the right person to speak to in your company regarding ….?”
Don’t just start pitching to the first person you speak to.
You can do some research to get the information before calling (LinkedIn, website, etc.) however, the information available on the internet is not always current.
It’s quicker and easier to just ask.
3. Prepare properly.
Make all your telephone calls on purpose and with a plan.
Know what you are going to say and how you are you going to say it.
Establish a clear call objective. Why are you making this telephone call?
(To get information, to give information, to follow-up, to sell, etc.)
Don’t rush the call. Put a smile on your face (or in your head) before making a business phone call.
A simple smile reflects in the voice and it really makes a difference to the message you project.
Buyers can pick this up very quickly.
When talking to a buyer, imagine that you are talking to a colleague or a friend.
Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself. That’s who they want to deal with.
6. Food and drink.
Don’t eat or drink while speaking on the phone. Don’t chew gum.
7. Get to the point.
Don’t start your call with the usual “How are you?” “How’s business?” “Thank you for taking my call” “Is it OK to speak now?” etc.
After your introduction, rather start with “The reason for my call is…..”
People don’t have time to waste and appreciate salespeople getting to the point.
Remember: When you phone someone you are interrupting them.
8. Control the conversation.
Whether you are selling a product or service, an idea or an appointment, to be successful when selling over the phone you must control the conversation.
To do this, you need to follow a simple sales process.
Most salespeople do not make telephone calls on purpose and with a plan.
It’s usually just chit chat. “I was just wondering if maybe you would possibly be interested in …”
When you don’t control the conversation, the buyer realizes the call is going nowhere and will usually end it. “No thank you” “Not interested”.
9. Leaving voice messages.
When leaving voice messages, speak clearly and slowly. Do not leave long messages. Be brief and end with a call to action.
“I will diarize to call again on (Day) between (Time) Should you have any queries in the meantime, please contact me”. (Diarize the follow-up call)
Repeat your telephone number at the end of your message. (Slowly)
Practice. Record your voice messages to hear what you sound like.
Your attitude is expressed telephonically by your “Tone of voice”.
Buyers can sense your “Attitude” by listening to your “Voice tone”.
Are you doing this because you WANT to or because you HAVE to?
11. Body language and facial expressions.
Don’t slouch, sit up straight and even stand up if necessary.
Be animated. Put a SMILE in your voice.
Look and sound like you are there to do business.
Your “Tone of voice” is affected by your body language and facial expressions.
Slouch into your chair, as low as you can go, and say, “Good morning”.
Now sit up straight and say, “Good morning”.
Can you feel the difference?
It is not the number of telephone calls you make that is important, it is the quality of the call that matters most.
The essence of success lies in getting your buyer “engaged” in a conversation.
Think carefully about how you make business telephone calls at the moment.
(Take your time. Think)
Choose one of the points above that you would like to work on improving over the next two weeks and write down how you will achieve this.
Start working on this NOW.
Don’t see the telephone as an object for making and taking calls, but rather as a tool to ”engage” with buyers.
Whenever possible, before communicating with the buyer by e-mail, pick up the phone and call them!
You will be amazed at the difference in your success rate.
How you sell matters.
Your sales process matters.
But how the buyer feels when they engage with you matters more. (Tiffani Bova)
© 2020 Ray Patterson. All materials, images and contents contained herein are the intellectual property of Ray Patterson and may not be copied, reproduced, distributed, displayed, adapted or modified without Ray Patterson’s express permission. Any unauthorized copying, reproduction, distribution, display, adaptation or modification will amount to copyright infringement.