Selling over the phone is much more than just taking a list of phone book numbers, finding the phone number of a company and starting to call. Truthfully, there are hundreds of people doing that same right now, some applying phone sales techniques and scripts and others just calling them to try their luck; some of them succeed and achieve their goals and others fail. At Toky, we use our own cloud telephony platform and our integrations to make outbound phone calls since our business model is B2B so we try to focus on business customers. Our sales team uses basic and simple tips to make any calls to our customers and I want to share some of then so you can learn more about how to sell a product or service to a customer over the phone.
Basic tips on how to sell more over the phone
Overcome the fear of calling: It is important that you know that sales calls are one of the best tools to get customers for any business and that you can not simply ignore them, they must be included in your sales strategies for products or services. It is ok not to feel comfortable calling unknown people to offer your products and services. You must accept and learn to face that not all people will welcome you; in the end, they are people who do not know you and whom you call to sell them something, which for many is annoying. You must overcome this fear and understand that the worst thing that can happen is that they say no and you maybe lose the customer, but after hanging out the call, you must be ready and with a positive attitude and enough confidence to continue. Making cold calls will be easier over time.
Plan your calls: Prepare a list of the contacts you want to call and define a suitable schedule according to their city and country. The list should include not only names and telephones, but also information about the company and how your product or service could be useful to them; planning your calls also involves doing some research about your prospects, visit their website, their posts on social networks and any information you may use to start a sales call in a suitable way. Avoid calling near lunchtime or at the end of the working day as your prospects will be ready to leave their offices and they will not always have a good attitude to listen to you. I recommend the calls on business days and in the morning hours; you must bear in mind the holidays of each country in case your customers or leads are located in different countries as it is our case at Toky.
- Set a goal: Always set an objective to achieve in order to define a closing point to the call; without a goal, you can start to ramble and show insecurity which can kill any opportunity to get something. The goals may be different for each customer; for some, it may be the closing of a sale, for others it may be just to pitch your products and services and request an appointment for a demonstration or a presentation.
- Learn to listen: Every call is a negotiation so you should not forget to listen to your customers. Many turn to sales scripts templates that repeat over the phone again and again but these prepared texts will never include what you should say to each response. You must learn to listen and answer properly, even when the person on the other side of the line becomes hostile. At Toky, each call is dedicated to a customer only; no multitasking, no extra activities, just a personal presentation, a pitch on our product and how it can benefit the customer's business and from there we are dedicated to listen to his questions and to drive the conversation to a sale or demonstration appointment.
- Register your calls and schedule the follow up: Keep the record of the calls made to each client to avoid confusion and not to make the fatal mistake of calling someone up ahead of time. If the person requests a new call, program this task in some software so you don't forget about it, you can use a CRM and maybe an integration with your telephony system to save time.
- Use marketing tools to select your calls: Before you start calling any contact you get, you can start using your own tools to choose whom to contact; you will greatly improve your efficiency. If you have a mailing list, you can contact those who have opened your last emails or who have seen your cold emails sent from your CRM, if you have a website or digital business, you can use tools like Intercom, or Mixpanel to monitor the most active users on your website.
- Speak naturally and with rhythm: Speak with good pronunciation and try not to handle a flat tone; emphasize important things. Breath and prepare your sales call opening lines carefully and try not sound as a contest show host, but must avoid a flat and boring voice; you are a person and not a tape recorder. Talking in a calm and natural way, is the first tool to break the ice and build an appropriate conversation that leads to your goals.
- Define a time limit for your calls: Your prospects have limited time to listen to you, so you must be nice, concrete and drive the conversation to your goal in no time. Many customers will start making excuses to finish the call if you have not reached a specific point after a few minutes.
- When you achieve your goal, close the call: After you've achieved your goal, whether it's a sale, a demo appointment or a follow-up call, friendly close the sales call. Maybe you can think that it is appropriate and nice to continue the conversation, but if you have already reached an important point, anything that is said additional can even hurt the sale.
- Do not speak badly about your competition: Many of your prospects may be using products or services from your competitors; focus on what you can offer better or on what your product or service does differently, but under no circumstances speak badly about your competitors. Bad talk of the competition can be interpreted as unethical and can put the client on the defensive, which can prevent you from achieving your sale or your goal.
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