- Be prepared for the call
Before you call a client, visit their website or social media pages. Learn as much as you can about the client you are about to speak with. Visit your CRM and brush up on the contact history. This will become useful when you are building rapport during the call. Refer to your knowledge of their business during your conversations with your customers to build credibility. Consumers appreciate it when you understand their needs and you are providing solutions that meet their needs.
- Ask questions and Listen well
Given the opportunity, consumers are more than happy to share their views on the kind of services they require and what they want, you need to ask the right questions and be prepared to listen. Encourage clients to elaborate on their needs and their concerns to find the source of their requirements and tailor your services to meet these needs. Listen carefully to turn a concern into an opportunity for your business. Consumers question because there is a need that is not being adequately met, assess whether your business can do better to meet these needs and offer your customer a solution.
- Positive responses
A phone call that is unexpected is often perceived as a kind of intrusion. Sometimes consumers on the phone gets a little frustrated and may in turn say no to everything you say. They may be needing your services but their previous experience with other suppliers may have caused them to be defensive about speaking with you. Be polite, be consistent, and be prepared. Understand all the possible scenarios the conversations may be heading and have your answers ready to assist your clients with their questions. Keep it positive and stay on topic. If they have not hung up on you, it means they are interested to hear what you have to say.
- Varied intonation
Face to face selling relies heavily on facial expressions and body language to build rapport with your clients. Communication and selling over the phone relies heavily on the intonation of voice. Adjust your intonation to build your phone character that your consumer will respond to. For example, communicating and selling to a young woman on the phone is very different to selling to a middle age retired male. In real life, when we like someone we subconsciously mirror our body language while communicating with them to make them feel at ease. Listen to your consumer over the phone, and be aware of their tone and rhythm. Try to tailor the way you communicate over the phone to suit your consumer on the other end.
- Keep it simple/ Get to the point/ Be transparent
Pick a good time to call and set a purpose for your call. What would you like to achieve with this call? Communicate this clearly with your customer and stay on course. It is important to build up credibility over the phone to build rapport, to do this, start with an introduction of your name and your business (what you do), communicate your strengths and experience (how long you have been doing your business, any awards ?) and move to then communicate the purpose of your call.
- Learn to pause
After you have communicated your purpose, provide a pause to let the customer digest the information you have presented. Learning to pause in the correct moment can make or break the sale/booking. Listen to your client’s response and after s/he has finished, answer their questions, or provide a response to their doubts (should there be any doubts) and keep answers positive and succinct. Pausing after you ask for a sale is also important. Be aware of where pauses are required and adjust as needed.
- Ask for the sale / Close the deal
Many sales have fallen through because the seller forgot and was too shy to ask for the sale.
To keep the calls directive, always ask which date and time they would like their appointment with you or when they would like your services carried out. Closing is the most crucial part of the phone sale.
- Be gracious/ Coping with rejection and no.
Rejection is part of selling over the phone. Do not take it personally. Remain consistent on your phone calls and find your own voice in the calls to handle rejections. Ask for feedback from the client before you hang up. Keep it short and polite. Thank them for their time and move on to another call.
- Practice makes perfect/ It is a numbers game.
It is natural to be apprehensive when you are doing something new, don’t be afraid of the phone, the more you call the more you will learn to communicate in an effective way. Telesales is a numbers game. If you make ten calls and you close a sale or made a face to face appointment, then it is natural to assume that when you make twenty calls you will close two sales etc. The more you call, the more sales you make. The sky is the limit.
- Remain consistent/ alternate contact/ follow up when you say you will.
It is not unusual for a client to requests that you call back another time. Ask your client when would be best to speak again, make an appointment and follow through. Consistency and follow up is the key to keeping rapport alive and continuous. Alternate contact methods such as phone and email to stay in touch. Periodically when you have any specials or offer, keep them inform as a courtesy. Your customer may not be ready to book today but staying front of mind will help them make the natural choice to contact you when they are ready to take you up on your offer!
Author: Roderick Ng