No one likes to cold call – okay there are a few, but the number is limited. Cold calling can be lucrative and fulfilling if you don’t let anxiety put you in a negative state before you begin.
Make your office a quiet, productive place by avoiding distractions and noise and having software ready to capture contact information and a customer relationship management software (CRM) with auto-response tech and customized branding.
Invest in quoting software to ensure quick, easy and customizable proposals.
Choose what you say with care. Exude a professional aura over the phone by eliminating slang and anything controversial. Be respectful and don’t curse, even if your prospect does.
Repeat what the prospect said to you using the same keywords or phrases. They’ll know you’re listening and are fully engaged.
Be nice. Don’t hard sell. Don’t use a script on the phone. It sounds phony – every pun intended. Be natural. Sincerity flows through your body and into the speaker. Share your genuine interest in helping your client.
No one likes desperation in sales professionals. It makes for an uncomfortable call. But don’t be arrogant. Yes, you know your business, but don’t make the prospect think you’re condescending. Tell the prospect you’re confident that you’ll find a solution to their problem, but only after listening to the actual problem.
Listen to the prospect’s needs. A phone call is a two-way discussion. Interaction from the prospect equals engagement.
Pump up your worth. You know you can help these prospects, you just need to listen to what they need.
One size does not fit all. Customize what you offer to the prospect’s needs
Before you get on the phone, know something about your prospect and approach him or her from their point of view. Repeat your client’s name frequently, but not so much that it sounds fake. If you’re spoken before, review your notes prior to the call. Make each prospect feel like they are your only concern – you’re there to help.
After listening to your prospect, ask questions. Get to the real reason they need you, or if it’s truly not a good fit, tell the prospect. It isn’t fair to either party to hang on to a possibility that has little chance of a sale.
Sound interesting, especially on cold calls. Listen to the cadence and words the prospect uses. Change your approach and style accordingly.
Be personable. Let the prospect know you value their time – ask if they have time to talk and be okay with the answer no.
Call at the right time. Figure out the best time to call based on your research of the prospect. Don’t call to early or too late unless the prospect asked you to.
Evaluate what you’re doing right – and what you’re doing wrong and go through this process consistently. Schedule a time to analyze if you need to. Although these tips are common sense, it won’t take long to see flaws in your on-phone delivery if you record yourself.
Watch in a mirror or record yourself both visually and audibly during sales calls. Improve speech patterns and facial expressions. Yes, you should be aware of what you look like when you sell on the phone.
Whether you think so or not, most people can hear your expression and attitude over the phone. No optics necessary. Smile when you talk. It changes the tone of your speech and makes you more likable, essentials to connect with a prospect.
Use what works, toss what doesn’t.
If you’re harried, take a moment to collect your thoughts before getting on the phone. Yes, your exasperation can carry over the phone.
Start being on time instead of always behind. Keep an organized calendar and be where you’re scheduled to be when you promised.
Use your pre-call research then listen to the prospect’s objections. There may be valid issues with your company in general. Make sure you commiserate and get all the information you can.
You can turn objections into sales. Keep at it.
Even though you shouldn’t script your conversation, think about scripting your open and close. Practice how to begin the conversation and how to end it on a high note. Create handy phrases to avoid awkward silences.
Have the closing ready and know when to use it. You may want to cut the call short because you feel a no coming on, but make sure the closing conveys your willingness to help.
I know it’s a no-brainer, but follow up. Put triggers into your CRM to remind you of what comes next or set the software up to automatically contact the prospect. Sales is a relationship, so stay in touch.
|Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.|